'Jolene' is the story about ten years in a young girl's life, who, having grown up in a succession of uncaring and abusive foster homes, marries a young man at 15 in the hope of escaping, and finding a home where she might find some love and happiness. Unfortunately, a bad decision on her part results in catastrophe and ultimately lands her in an institution for young women. After a year of hell, climaxing with an affair with a prison guard, she manages to escape and is finally on the road to freedom and finding herself. In her quest, she passes through a series of relationships, adventures and misfortunes which take her across America, in search of the life she dreams of. Based on the controversial short story by E.L. Doctorow.