Light-skinned Selina Standish lives a life of emotional pain and torment. In 1906, at the age of eight, she is convinced by her mother, actress Lavinia Standish, the daughter of a slave, to pass as white. Although Selina yields to her mother's insistence to pass, she refuses to cut ties completely with her "Negro" relatives, including her twin brother, a child her mother deems too dark. However, at age seventeen, in the year 1915, Selina meets wealthy southerner Jack Cosgrove, the man of her dreams. Keeping her ancestry a secret, Selina is conflicted by Jack's negative attitude toward her race. She must determine if happiness with him could ever be a possibility, especially if she were to reveal her bloodline. Later, a chance encounter with Pastor Tony Manning opens Selina's eyes to real love. Although he is a progressive thinker regarding race relations, Tony appears to draw the line at interracial marriage. In order to live as his wife, Selina decides she must completely disassociate herself from all her "colored" relatives. While bound to a chain of secrecy, Selina struggles to live in honesty. How true can she be to her husband, if she can never reveal the truth about herself?