Margaret Millington is a wealthy, cynical, midfifties alcoholic, suffering from depression. Peter Kearns is a thirty-one-year-old Catholic priest with a burn-scarred face he mysteriously suffered as a young child. Fate brings the two together, and they develop an unlikely friendship that allows Margaret to witness the hope that the remarkable young man offers to people in a variety of seemingly hopeless situations, ultimately giving Margaret herself a new purpose in life. When the charismatic priest is diagnosed with a terminal illness treatable only by a bone-marrow transplant from a blood relative, his prognosis appears grim. Peter was raised in a series of foster homes in Chicago, and no one knows the identity of his birth family. Did they neglect him as an infant? Worse still, did they burn him intentionally? A determined Margaret puts her vast resources to work to try to find Peter's biological family in time to save his life.