Henry Barthes is a brilliant teacher with a true talent to connect with his students. In another world, he would be a hero to his community. But haunted by a troubled past, Henry has chosen to be a substitute teacher – never at one school for more than a few weeks at a time, never staying long enough to form any attachment to either students or colleagues. A perfect profession for one seeking to hide out in the open. When a new assignment places him at a failing public school, Henry’s insular world gradually melts into emotions by three women he meets: a fellow teacher, a student and a runaway teen. They’re all, like Henry, trying to find beauty and humanity in a loveless world.