Set in Marin County, Innocence follows John Gegenuber, a former Episcopal priest who has given up his parish and his vocation to pursue a career selling real estate. For John, it isn’t such a radical change. As a scholarly bachelor who takes a lofty, philosophical view on things, he likes to think the business of getting people into houses is, in its way, as pastoral and consequential as the priesthood.
John was born with a cleft palate, and he has lived all his life behind the minor disfigurement of a “hare lip.” Now, having recently undergone corrective cosmetic surgery, John has been invited to go on a romantic trip to a secluded country estate with Thalia, a young woman who herself has undergone the very same surgery. For these two peculiar, intelligent, shy people, both of whom have always felt unqualified for love, this is a weekend that promises happy beginnings.
However, John must adjust his expectations for their transformative weekend together when Thalia brings along seven of her special-needs clients—it is an improbable weekend, partly absurd, partly harrowing.