With its starting point in the late 1940s, Cadillac Road is the story of red-haired and fierce narrator Sharon Desjardins: from her earliest childhood memories of leaving Northern Quebec and a violent father to adventures in Buffalo and Crystal Beach with her mother and younger sister, Gloria; from dreams of escaping claustrophobic poverty in shabby Grenville to going to Toronto, mingling with high society and marrying a wealthy lawyer, having turned down local boy and first love Clinton McClary because she doesn't think he'll amount to much. Nor does she think much of her mom marrying Jimmy Dutton, a balding man with protruding ears, a rusty car and a dilapidated house. Sharon sees her beautiful mother fading, becoming little more than a baby-producing machine and blames her stepfather. She swears that won't happen to her, that she won't make her mother's mistakes. And she doesn't. No poverty for her. No dilapidated house. Wealth, respect, a beautiful home--it's all hers now. There's only one problem: Sharon soon realizes she doesn't love her wealthy lawyer husband or his lifestyle and her efforts to please him and fit in leave her depressed and on pills. In the end, Sharon, realizing she needs to be true to her heart, abandons her marriage and takes to the road, a road that could very well lead back to her original hometown of Cadillac.
No more pretending. Us Duttons are as good as anybody. I thought money was safety. Mom knew better. I turned my back on the one I might've loved. Clinton, I was scared to love you.