A young woman gains newfound courage after discovering diaries from her female ancestors who survived the Triangle Waist Factory fire and the Holocaust and went on to lead full lives.
Susie, a fiction writer, is grappling with three issues that have been plaguing her: her inability to commit to her boyfriend Zach, who wants to get married and start a family; her frustration with her writing career; and the suspicion that exploring her family history may open doors to the reasons for her state of mind.
When Susie returns to her childhood home for the holidays to help her stepmother and father, she discovers four family photographs that trigger her curiosity about significant events in the lives of her female relatives. She gains new insights when reading about her birth mother Sylvie, who died when Susie was born; her grandmother, who despite surviving the Triangle Waist Factory fire, went on to lose her best friend, as well as her infant firstborn son; her aunt Berta, a serious musician who faced anti-Semitism and misogyny. In the end, Susie comes to appreciate how difficult life is for everyone and begins moving on with her own life.