Alec Fenton, an American by adoption and his wife, Marjorie, an American of Greek origin, live with their two children in Athens. Both Alec's business life and his tender relationships with his daughter are guided by a playful but deeply felt need to interpret the smallest details of the world as significant. Under the influence of powerful signs and premonitions, Alec allows himself to veer in and out of a love affair with a colleague, Katherine, eventually leaving his family and returning to America with his lover. Once there, however, the same belief system urges him back home for one final attempt to win back his family. But his new quest is endangered by the presence of a political activist, Andreas, in his family's life. Andreas becomes the victim of a series of incidents, each one more threatening than the last.