THE VOICE OF THE TURTLE takes place in New York City during World War II and explores the sexual struggles of Sally Middleton, a young woman attempting to reconcile her childhood teachings on the importance of chastity with her newfound affection for Bill Page. The story begins the aspiring actress Sally Middleton has just finished moving into her new apartment in the East Sixties. Even though she has just left her home in Joplin, Missouri for life in the big city, the married Broadway producer she has been seeing dumps her when he feels she is ruining their relationship by falling in love with him. Heartbroken, Sally confides in her friend Olive Lashbrooke, questioning the practicality of the lessons in chasteness she received as a child and wondering if she is alone in her passion, or if other women share these sensations.
Unbeknownst to Sally, Olive has a date planned with Bill Page, a Sergeant in the United States Army on leave for the weekend, and she has arranged for him to meet her at Sally's new apartment. At the last minute, however, Olive is asked on a date by another man, and she decides to stand up Bill for what she considers to be the better offer. Bill, still bitter over a love affair gone wrong, finds himself hurt again by love, and to make matters worse he has no hotel reservation, nor is there a nearby friend with whom he can stay. Devoid of any alternative, the two strangers find themselves bound together in Sally's apartment for the weekend, where they are forced to confront their fears of fidelity and their growing interest in one another.