Milly Theale, an American heiress in London, is young, hungry for life, and terminally ill. There she meets the dazzling beauty Kate Croy and reunites with an old acquaintence, Merton Densher. Unbeknownst to Milly, Kate is madly in love with Merton, a young journalist who has everything a woman like Kate could want—except money.
Intensely aware of her new friend’s fate and coveting her fortune, Kate secretly spurs Merton to seduce and marry Milly in order to inherit her wealth. But when Milly discovers their scheme, Kate and Merton learn that deceit can have unforeseen consequences….