Set in Connecticut in the winter of 1816, Patience & Sarah tells the powerful story of two young women who meet, fall in love and resolve to devote their lives to each other. The artist Patience White, sister to a middle-class Connecticut landowner, and tough-minded, adventurous Sarah Dowling, the daughter of a poor farmer, share a mutual dream of leaving behind their repressive families to go pioneering together. Patience wants to go with Sarah but their families prevent it, so Sarah goes out on the road alone, dressed as a boy and calling herself Sam. She meets Parson Daniel Peel, a book peddler, who invites Sam to travel with him. When the Parson falls in love with Sam, Sarah reveals herself and decides to return home. She is reunited with Patience and visits her every day for reading lessons. One day when the women are finally alone Patience’s sister-in-law discovers them in an embrace. Patience’s brother demands that they leave and as the women are about to set sail for Genesee to buy land and make a home together, he gives them his blessing and sees them off. Patience and Sarah, alone together on the boat dock, begin their new life together.