For Alice and Hanna, saint and sinner, growing up is a trial.
There is their mother, who takes a divide-and-conquer approach to child-rearing, and their father, who takes an absent one. There is also their older brother Michael, whose disapproval is a force to be reckoned with.
There is the catastrophe that is never spoken of, but which has shaped everything .
As adults, Alice and Hanna must deal with disappointments in work and in love as well as increasingly complicated family tensions, and lives that look dismayingly dissimilar to what they'd intended. They must look for a way to repair their own fractured relationship, and they must finally choose their own approach to their dominant mother: submit or burn the house down.
And they must decide at last whether life is really anything more than (as Hanna would have it) a tragedy with a few hilarious moments.