Centers on a mother who favors her son while rejecting her daughter. Patrice, a beautiful but mindless youth stands gazing at his image in the water. Around him move his ugly sister Isabelle-Marie, and his frivolous mother Louise, the first lost in love and hate for her brother's beauty, the second seeing it as an adornment for herself. Into this small, obsessed universe come a blind boy and an elegant fop from the outside world. At once, the pattern breaks and events move forward into a terrifying denouement.