Based on D.H. Lawrence's novella about two young women - sickly, chattering Jill Banford and quiet, strong Ellen March - who are trying, hopelessly, to run a chicken farm in Canada. A gentle but powerful man named Paul Renfield who used to live on their farm returns and puts things in order. But his proposal of marriage to Ellen awakens the homosexuality dormant in the girls: Jill uses her weakness to make Ellen feel protective, and the women become active lovers.