The love story of young adults Oliver Barrett IV and Jenny Cavilleri is told. Oliver comes from an extremely well off and old money New England family, the Barrett name which holds much gravitas and which is plastered especially all over Harvard where Oliver is in pre-law. Like those before him, he plans on attending Harvard Law School, which is not an issue in either the school not accepting him or he not wanting to attend. He has an extremely stiff relationship with his parents, especially his father, Oliver Barrett III, who loves his son in the old school way. Jenny, a music student at Radcliffe, comes from a working class Rhode Island background, she working her way through the program before she plans on going to Paris to further her studies. Unlike Oliver's relationship with his father, Jenny has a very casual one with her baker father, who she calls by his given name Phil. When Oliver and Jenny meet, there are immediate fireworks - she always with a quick quip to put him in his place - both of a good and bad kind, but they both quickly come to the realization that they are in love with each other. They have many obstacles to overcome in having a committed relationship, outwardly his father's disapproval of someone like her not being Barrett material being arguably the the biggest. However, other things that happen in the natural course of life and death may trump all.