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Overwhelmed by the illness of his wife Marie-Hélène, Pierre LeBlanc retreats into a hasty affair and recalls the breakup of his youthful relationship with Lorraine that began before the Second World War. He's swamped with memories: how in 1946, he left Massachusetts for his family's ancestral home in Quebec a Franco-American trying to escape both the devastation of his memories as a prisoner of war in the Philippines and the English language in which he recalled this experience. Only it's Montreal in 1970, and his wife's illness confronts Pierre with his unspoken terror of suffering and death. While he and Marie-Hélène are living apart, their daughter Danielle struggles to claim her dad's abandoned language and her American roots. Her prodding draws Pierre into an encounter with his first love, a meeting which helps him confront the unspoken sorrows and regrets of his life.

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