Antoine Rey thought he had the perfect surprise for his sister Melanie's birthday: a weekend by the sea at Noirmoutier Island , where the pair spent many happy childhood summers playing on the beach. It has been too long, Antoine thinks, since they've returned to the island – over 30 years, since their mother died and the family holidays ceased.
But the island's haunting beauty triggers more than happy memories; it reminds Melanie of something unexpected and deeply disturbing about their last island summer. When, on the drive home to Paris, she finally summons the courage to reveal what she knows to Antoine, her emotions overcome her and she loses control of the car. Recovering from the accident in a nearby hospital, Melanie tries to recall what caused her to crash.
Antoine encounters an unexpected ally, sexy, streetwise Angele, a mortician who will teach him new meanings for the words life, love and death. Suddenly, however, the past comes swinging back at both siblings, burdened with a dark truth about their mother, Clarisse. Trapped in the wake of a shocking family secret shrouded by taboo, Antoine must confront his past and also his troubled relationships with his own children. Suddenly fragile on all fronts as a son, a husband, a brother and a father, Antoine Rey will learn the truth about his family and himself the hard way.