Ella is 17 years old in 1965. Her parents suffered heavily during the Holocaust: her mother had spent two years hidden in a cellar and her father was deported. Despite everything, they managed to survive, open a pharmacy in Rouen, France, and start a family. But pain sets in with the unsaid and Ella grows up in a family tarnished by the dramas and ghosts of the past. Her father becomes violent, her mother submissive.
She takes refuge in literature, and this will save her through the people she meets. The first is her local bookseller, who was also Jewish and invites her to discover new authors and novels. Then, during her studies in literature, her young love Paul introduces her to the famous Spanish author Jorge Semprún. After publishing his first novel, The Great Journey, the writer speaks openly about his deportation during the Holocaust. This encounter will strike a chord in Ella about her own family’s unspoken past, prompting the young woman to seek out answers for herself.