Badly scarred in a childhood accident, Violet boards a bus in North Carolina on a pilgrimage to Oklahoma to visit a TV preacher, the one that heals. On the bus, she meets two soldiers on their way to Fort Smith.
Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady’s man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing at funerals and painting tombstones. But he has run up a large debt, and when his friend, the grave-digger Mr. Broz, suggests a scheme for making a lot of money by marrying a Russian woman so that she can get her Czech papers, he reluctantly agrees. She takes advantage of the situation to emigrate to West Germany, to her lover; and leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother; when the grandmother dies, Kolya must come and live with his stepfather, Louka.
During World War I, small-town girl Josephine Norris has an illegitimate son by an itinerant pilot. After a scheme to adopt him ends up giving him to another family, she devotes her life to loving him from afar.
Laurie has been in show business since she was a child. Her dream is to be a singer, songwriter and actress. Her father wants her to be a comedian like him and Laurie only tries because it pleases her father. But she is a lousy comedian. She auditions for everything and is engaged to Ken, but Ken does not understand her needs. She has a one night stand with Chris, only to later find that he is a director. She has many emotions that have not yet been addressed and she must face them before she can get on with her life.
About a high school boy who accidentally got his girlfriend pregnant. They both agree that they’ll give up the baby for adoption when the child is born…. turns out things are not so simple.
In a village in eastern Turkey, tales of the economic success of Turks in Switzerland inspire Haydar to convince his wife Meryem that they must go. He sells their livestock and small plot of land in exchange for passage for two. He wants to leave their seven children in the care of the eldest and his parents; his father advises him to take one son to be educated in Europe, as economic insurance. The three set off for Istanbul, Milan, and Switzerland, stowing away on a ship. At Lake Como, they pay the rest of their money to unprincipled men who abandon them at an Alpine pass before a blizzard. Father and son are separated from Meryem. Will anyone reach the land of promise?
Joe Lieberman is attracted to Shaleen. They begin a professional relationship, which continues even after Joe develops a romantic interest in a woman named Kate, who is married.
A ruthless, cynical, hated publisher is killed in a plane crash, and his ghost must wander restlessly unless someone sheds a tear for him.