Jean (McCormack), a photojournalist and her husband (Penn) sail to a New Hampshire island
accompanied by her brother-in-law (Lucas), and his girlfriend (Hurley) to investigate the
axe murders of two Scandinavian immigrants there in 1873. She discovers a cache of papers
that appear to give an account of the murders by an eyewitness (Polley). The plot weaves
between the past and the present with the narrative of the eyewitness and Jean's private
struggle with jealousies and suspicions as her marriage teeters.
Based on a true story as told in the novel of the same name by Anita Shreve.