In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead. When a new servant Abigail arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
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In 1979 Santa Barbara, California, Dorothea Fields is a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie, at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women – Abbie, a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home and Julie, a savvy and provocative teenage neighbour – to help with Jamie’s upbringing.
Plagued by the abuse of her past and the turmoil of failed intimate encounters, Laura struggles to find a lover and a sense of normalcy. Her beacon of hope comes in sixteen year-old Eva, a talented pianist disillusioned by the life her mother imposes upon her. An unlikely relationship is formed between the two and Eva becomes an obsession to Laura. In light of Eva’s unhappiness, Laura convinces her to runaway to her house and they soon find themselves caught within an intense entanglement. Manipulation, denial and codependency fuel what ultimately becomes a fractured dynamic that can only sustain itself for so long.