On a spring evening in 1982, a thousand people are killed in Sanctuary, a country founded by genocide survivors and devoted to pacifism. Shock and grief cause deep-seated tensions to erupt, especially after an official pronouncement that the deaths are the result of a mass suicide pact by an unpopular rural sect. As the few remaining members of the sect go into hiding to protect themselves, six people are thrown together by chance and competing romantic interest. United by a belief in the victims' innocence, they risk lives and reputations to defend the survivors and discover the truth.
Decades later, Brian, a congenial and underemployed American, goes to Sanctuary to look for Jenny, the sister of a former girlfriend who disappeared while visiting there. As he looks for clues and tries not to marry anyone accidentally, he learns that he may also be a target. To determine why, and whether his guards are there to protect him or kill him, he must find out what really happened in 1982.