Promise

Barn in Snow

Following a tumultuous divorce, Ryan Shiflett sells his two successful restaurants in Chicago and flees to the north woods of Wisconsin to fulfill a childhood dream of getting away from it all, but Promise is not the idyllic place he hoped to find. The former celebrity chef finds himself stuck in a nearly deserted town inhabited by quirky artists, professional wrestlers, venomous beetles, and a timid sheriff who becomes fixated on the disappearance of the town’s troublemaker, Billy Babitzke. After surviving an accident that should have killed him, Ryan is ready to leave Promise for good — then he meets Allison Payne.

Hoping to impress Allison, Ryan enrolls in wrestling lessons, where he spends more time grappling with unresolved issues from his divorce than impressing people in the ring. Ryan’s bid for attention turns out to be unnecessary; a friendship with Allison forms over lunches Ryan prepares for her while she helps him restore his old house. Ryan settles into a new routine and finds himself accepted as a member of Promise. Just when it looks like Ryan really did find his perfect place, the dream becomes a nightmare.

After losing a close friend, things get worse when Ryan discovers Allison is leaving Promise for an extended travel writing assignment. When Sheriff Ed Littleton discovers the body of Billy Babitzke in an unlikely place with no clear answer of who put him there, accusations threaten to tear the town apart. As Promise’s secrets are finally revealed and it looks like there’s no hope for recovery, Ryan comes up with an idea that brings everybody together—and in the process, finds the one thing his life has always lacked: a sense of belonging.