Is it ever too late to forgive . . .
Sadie can't cope with the fact that her father is dying: the vital man who spent his life smelling delicious scents as a perfumier's nose, who brought Sadie up alone, who gave her such a dreadful childhood. In pursuing his life, Sadie's father ignored hers, subjecting her to a succession of "aunts", leaving her loveless and alone to fend for herself.
Now she's a mother, the survivor of a marriage that she destroyed. And as she realises that her father must die, she begins to look back over the painful childhood she's tried to forget. And the arrival of one of those fleeting women from her father's past starts a train of events Sadie cannot control.