Lara, the daughter of a deaf-mute couple. is her parents' only link to the world of voices and sounds. When Lara's vivacious, outgoing aunt Clarissa gives her a clarinet one Christmas, Lara's father feels hurt and dismayed. He watches helplessly as Lara becomes closer to Clarissa and ever more proficient on the clarinet. Though he would like to stop her, Lara moves away to realize her own life. She ultimately makes it clear to him that there is a difference between "hearing" and "understanding", and that there is a way to reconcile their two worlds.