Kate Bianchi (Valerie Harper) is a book illustrator. She's just divorced, and she only has her salary to support herself and her young daughter Jennifer (Sarah Michelle Gellar). So she moves to a very small town in Maine, where life is cheap. Her car stalls as soon as they leave the ferry. Locals are friendly but distant. It's winter, and there's snow everywhere. They see the beautiful scenery in the following days, though.
Kate flirts with the sheriff of the town, Carl Slater (Cliff De Young), and he flirts back, which will create much gossip around town. She rejects everybody else who tries to approach her. That annoys the chauvinist pigs in town. One of them breaks into Kate's bedroom and rapes her. Kate checks that Jennifer is OK and sound-sleeping in her bedroom and then calls the police.
When Slater moves into the raper, all the town supports him. During the judgement, her own lawyer feels that the jury is being pushed against Kate with loose insinuations which are never clearly stated as the judge (Frank Hamilton) would not allow it. Her only possibility is to disclose her sexual past. Saying which whom and how many times she's made love to men would be better than letting insinuations in the air. Kate agrees.
It's her courage and determination when speaking out about her past sexual life when she earns the favour of the jury, and her assailant is declared guilty.