Rose, a timid, sweet young woman and secretary to Reverend Howard, demonstrates her complete devotion to the old minister not only by caring for his terminally ill wife, but also by marrying the old widower in order to care for him. Reverend Howard never initiates romantic involvement with his young wife. He does have compassion for Rose and in appreciation for her loyalty, the Reverend initiates the adoption of a child to bridge the gap that lies between he and his wife. Even with a child, Rose continues to find herself in a lonely marriage and becomes filled with frustration and confusion. A long-standing conflict between the minister and his son is resolved in a paradoxical way which costs Rose her life rather than her virginity.