Max is a famous photographer (portraits and photo-journalism), also a philanderer, selfish and quick-tempered. After his death in 2003, his daughters , Vinny and Ruthie, return to the family villa in Greece. For Ruthie, the younger sister, a photographer herself, it is her first visit since she cut off relations with her father 15 years ago, for reasons never explicitly spelled out. There is a family tragedy in the background. The girls’ French mother, Sophie, an opera singer who abandoned her career when Vinny was born, suffered a breakdown, originally provoked by Max’s infidelity, and became mad. Ruthie has inherited her instability. The girls were brought up principally – and lovingly – by their Aunt Beatrice, Max’s elder sister. We know from the first pages that the story will end badly; the question is how, in what form, and why?