1900. Caught in a scandal, Catherine Wainwright, pianist, must leave her comfortable life in Ohio. She travels to Galveston, Texas, and marries the recently widowed Oscar Williams, a childhood admirer whom she has not seen in years. Catherine is unprepared for the life that awaits her. The weather is sweltering, Oscar’s home is rustic and remote, and his little boy, Andre, resents her presence.
But it’s Oscar who most unnerves her. He has expectations that Catherine is unable to fulfill. Then there is Nan Ogden, Oscar’s housekeeper. Catherine’s arrival comes as a shock to Nan. Not only had she promised Oscar’s first wife that she would take care of Andre, but she has feelings for Oscar that she struggles to hide. Meanwhile, a powerful hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico gathers strength and spins toward Galveston.