Derek is in his second year of college. A conservative, young man from the small town of Alton, Pennsylvania, Derek commutes and has little interaction with the college crowd. His meeting with Salvatore Ridenti will change that.
Also in his second year of college, Salvatore is a foreign exchange student from Brazil. Sal has had a less conventional, worldlier background in his homeland. The trials and experiences these two face are met according to the personality of each. In spite of Derek's natural reserve and Sal's outgoing savvy, they find that they do, in fact, share similar values. They form a strong friendship.
Lou's daughter, Rachael, meets jealousy from an upper-class girl at Alton High. Her mother's, past indiscretions are heaped on Rachael and alienate mother and daughter.
Rachael has a crush on Sal, who is, likewise, a bit enamored with this younger sister of Derek. Lou births her fourth . . . first legitimate . . . child. We observe how faith has created solid bonds in Lou's troubled relationships.