An auteur, together with his lead actors, is at a prestigious European festival to premiere his latest film.
Alone one morning at a backstreet café, he strikes up a conversation with a local woman who takes him on a walk to uncover the city's secrets, historic and personal. As the walk unwinds, a story of love and tragedy emerges, and he begins to see the chance meeting as fate. He is entranced, wholly clear in his mind: her story must surely form the basis for his next film.
This is a novel about cinema, flâneurs, and queer love - it is about the sometimes troubled, sometimes ecstatic creative process, and the toll it takes on its makers.
But it is also a novel about stories, and the ongoing question of who has the right to tell them.