Maria, a Portuguese young girl, marries with the love of her life some hours before he is taken to the Colonial War in Africa. She has only time to say goodbye before she becomes a married girl left behind with the other women from the village.

In a family where love and fear are not spoken out loud, she is offered a new room for her marital bed. Clara her middle sister tries comfort her in her loneliness and protect her from Rosa, the provocative younger sister. The girls sleep together night after night exploring the sensations of their own bodies in the innocence of their ignorance.

When the husband writes from Africa that he won’t come back and the young José comes to invite Clara to the ball, Maria’s pride and jealousy speak louder than rational thought.