The year is 1955, and few people understand or tolerate mental handicaps. For Beverly and Warren Vance, the daily struggle to live with their handicapped son, Keller, is taking its toll. Keller is large for his age and often aggressive, prone to throwing tantrums and breaking everything in sight. Beverly and Warren have been encouraged to institutionalize him, or at least keep him out of public view. But they decided long ago that trying to teach and raise him was a better option - at least until now. When a shocking development and a disastrous incident complicate their decision, the lines between right and wrong become increasingly blurred. Yet in the end, through their own choices, they come to understand that the most important thing in life is family.