This is a story of unsatisfactory relationships. Hesta has always been in love with Daniel, but he is gay and can only offer friendship. Unable to settle anywhere she flees, pregnant, to Canada. On her death, Daniel must fulfil a promise to care for her ten year old daughter and this is their story and the difficulties they encounter when they try to make a life together.
Later, over lunch on a barge, with Ilona delighted by a croque-Madame with runny egg, she says 'What about the parents, in that painting. Are they walking away from the daughter or catching up?'
Daughter, thinks Daniel. Parents. Allegory comes so naturally she doesn't even know she's doing it. 'Maybe we don't have to know', says Daniel. 'Maybe you can take it both ways'.