High school athlete Cyd Loughlin lives alone with her depressive father in South Carolina, perpetually longing to get away from it all. When her aunt, famous novelist Miranda Ruth, agrees to host her for a few weeks during the summer, Cyd jumps at the opportunity. Arriving in Chicago, the curious, earthbound Cyd begins to sense her vulnerability as she encounters points-of-view different from her own. Cyd discovers that her aunt is more interested in literature, Christian theology and food than romance and sexuality, while Miranda realizes her niece is operating in a different register, embracing body over soul, and hungry as hell. After a jog one afternoon, Cyd meets the strikingly androgynous Katie. Days later, Cyd finds herself in Katie's apartment, where she meets Katie's brother and his strange friend Tab, who seems to take a provocative, potentially dangerous liking to his friend's sister. Meanwhile, Miranda has an increased sensitivity to the attraction felt from her best friend, African-American author and journalist Anthony James. During one of Miranda's monthly soirees, her closest friends from academia and church come over to celebrate each other, Cyd meets a dreamy young man named Ridley, who attempts to sweep her up. Struggling to navigate these complicated feelings, Cyd yields to his flirtations. At the same time, Katie, left alone with Tab at her apartment, increasingly senses trouble. Later that night, Miranda and Cyd stealthily rescue Katie from violence, and she ends up back home with Miranda and Cyd, safe. As the days press on, Miranda, Cyd and Katie form a special bond, eventually gathering with Anthony at a block party. As the two dynamics meld into one colorful and complex modern quartet, they each find themselves transformed by this stretch of summer, challenged to continue living in their evolution even as they part ways.