Raised alongside her sickly cousin, Therese lives the quietest of lives. Yet something impetuous and wild stirs within her -- as she learns of herself during moments of escape into the countryside.
But now the family is in Paris, taking over a mercer's shop in the dingy Arcade of the Pont Neuf. To appease the aunt who has cared for her, she marries her pale, nerve-wracked cousin. Then a schoolmate of her husband's appears -- almost his complete opposite, with full voice, jovial laughter -- and a strapping build that givers her nervous pangs to contemplate . . .
And a new Therese, one her aunt or husband has never known, threatens to break free of the restraints that have bound her, all these years