Ardelia DeWard, a black woman living in the city in the late 1970's with no job and no prospects for obtaining one, finds herself overwhelmed with the trials and tribulations of trying to care for four children and an aging mother. Just at the point when Ardelia almost abandons all hope of ever being able to provide a decent life for her family, an incident occurs which offers her the chance to provide a new start for herself and her children and her mother. But does she have the courage to seize the opportunity? Ardelia knows the probable fate of the family if they remain in the city, but she can only guess at the consequences of leaving. And - even in her wildest speculations - she doesn't come close to envisioning the changes in store for herself and her loved ones. Ardelia's decision alters the history of each member of the DeWard family.