It portrays the story of the developing relationship between an older, middle-class woman, Mary Horton, who lives on her own and a handsome, developmentally impaired 24-year-old gardener, Tim Melville, whom she hires. It inspired the 1979 film of the same name, starring Piper Laurie and Mel Gibson and the 1996 Film Mary & Tim starring Candice Bergen and Tom McCarthy.
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