What do a modern New-York working mother and a young woman from Cambridge have in common? Well, they've both acclimated to living the same vicarage, in the middle of nowhere. Both Jane (modern era) and Alice (circa 1930's) find themselves alone and unhappy. Jane's decided to re-paint the centuries-old pantry, and comes across a shopping list, supposed to be written by Alice James, a previous resident, the local vicar's wife. As the tales of Alice's life unfold, Jane forms a strange attachment to this woman she's never met, and learns a few life-lessons along the way.