The play begins in Utah in 1857-the year more than 100 California-bound immigrants traveling from Missouri and Arkansas were killed in what became known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Hettie and Lavinia, 10-year-old friends at the time, know about the nearby massacre, an event that will haunt them for the rest of their lives. We follow their friendship through 40 years (set at 10-year intervals) as they each find their place in an intolerant, patriarchal Mormon society and the polygamy it espouses. The relationship between the women is tested when Hettie marries Lavinia’s father, a breach of trust that Lavinia condemns. Lavinia’s lifelong hatred of her father becomes clear when Hettie learns that her friend was an eyewitness to the Mountain Meadows Massacre-carried out by Mormons and planned by Lavinia’s father.