Helen Kings and Alma Carneggio couldn’t be more different: Helen makes a living as a single-mum and partner in a London law firm, while Alma lives a privileged life as the wife of a Milanese industrial aristocrat. Yet, their lives are haunted by the same tragedy: the mysterious death of Luca Carneggio, Alma’s son and Helen’s lover- and the father of Helen’s teenage daughter Emmy, an illegitimate child and therefore a disgrace to the Carneggio family.
While Alma drifts through her days on painkillers and tranquillizers, hiding in her family’s estate, Helen is keeping up the façade of a tough self-made woman. But in her quiet moments, only a ghost Luca keeps her company – and her resentment towards the Carneggios alive. She blames them for the dreams she had to give up. But as Emmy turns into a young adult, this truth is being challenged - until it finally falls apart.
The reader follows Alma and Helen on their winded - and sometimes funny - ways to come to terms with their past, finding a new way of being after having lost what they loved the most. When Alma is suddenly stripped of her family corset, she begins to long for meeting her only granddaughter. But is it too late for a new beginning?