In the period just after World War II, a job at the local silk mill could be a great opportunity for a young man. But by the time Chris Tiller went looking for summer work in 1971, the glory days of the textile industry in his hometown, and in America, were behind it.
The only thing is, few people seemed to realize it. For that summer, Chris works at a fading mill, and encounters a group of characters who, in many ways, represent a changing nation and a fading industrial world.
Years later, Chris returns to the mill, now closed, and learns that some of the people he met there were not always what they seemed to be.