The story begins with a homecoming: Kess, the eldest of three daughters and the only one to have left home, returns for a visit at the behest of Jo, the middle one, on whom their mother's oppressive dependence seems to have taken the worst toll and who is near the breaking point. She is Mom's caretaker and punching-bag combined, and is trapped by her own caring nature and thwarted self-esteem in ways that become tragically apparent as the story unfolds. Also living at home is outspoken, rebellious teenager Sherry, with whom Kess is almost immediately at loggerheads, creating yet more tension to be defused by poor Jo. Torn between duty and the feeling that she will go insane if she does not break away from her mother, Jo turns to Kess for rescue but finds that the "strong" sister may not be as much of a bulwark as she hoped. The question becomes, can she be her own bulwark in a sea of dysfunction and disappointment? The play succeeds in investing the question with importance and answering it with stirring authenticity.