Ursula and Gudrun Brangwen are two sisters living in the Midlands of England in the 1920s. Ursula is a teacher, Gudrun an artist. They meet two men who live nearby, Rupert Birkin and Gerald Cricht. The four become friends. Ursula begins to date Birkin and Gudrun eventually begins a love affair with Gerald.
The four are all deeply concerned with contemporary questions of society, politics, and the relationship between men and women. They go for a party at Gerald's manor house, but during the course of the evening, Gerald's sister, Diana, drowns. Gudrun becomes the teacher and mentor of his youngest sister. Soon Gerald's father passes away as well after a drawn-out illness.
Birkin asks Ursula to marry him, and she agrees. Gerald and Gudrun's relationship, however, is becoming more stormy. The four go on vacation together to the Alps. Gudrun begins an intense friendship with an artist she meets there called Loerk. Gerald cannot deal with this and their relationship begins to spiral out of control.
This report prepared by Kelly Jones