Charlotte Andergast, internationally a fairly successful concert pianist, has just lost Leonardo, the man with whom she has been living for many years. His death shakes her, leaving her in a state of loneliness and bewilderment. Her daughter Eva, who has been married for some years to a clergyman and lives in a small town in Norway, asks her mother to visit her. For several days the two women are confronted with each other. They seek and repulse each other by turns. The encounter is crucial for the future of them both. This is the external action.On an internal plane what it boils down to of course is love: the presence and absence of love, the longing for love, love's lies, love that is deformed and love as our sole chance of survival.