In their tiny, secluded mountain community, Sid Lore and Janet Hollar are misfits: Sid because he wasn’t born here, Janet because she can’t satisfy her Pentecostal church’s demand to speak in tongues. The two drift together and get married, and soon the optimistic, independent newlyweds vow to forge their own reality. Appalachian life, however, proves difficult: Family and friends die or move away and Sid’s work-related injuries make it impossible to earn a living. As his enters a rut of odd jobs, bar brawls, and dog fights, Janet discovers new worth and a hidden talent for destruction.
Tuesday Price is a wiseass, a boozer, and a loser. Only his wife, Linda, recalls a smarter, better man, and she's losing faith in that man's return. When Tuesday befriends a strange, silent Vietnam vet who eternally sits with a cooler of beer in a disabled pickup, Linda's had enough. At her departure, Tuesday is left with only his new friend as a companion - until the old vet is found dead, and Tuesday is blamed. Alone and haunted by regret, Tuesday's daily life deteriorates until he must unearth his sordid past to reach a worthwhile future.