Twins Gabriel and Isabella Glover each live with their partners in London and New York. Beneath the daily facade of settled thirty-somethings, neither can find contentment in their unsatisfactory jobs and relationships.
They have not spoken to their father, Nicholas, for ten years. Nicholas now lives in a lavish apartment in Paris with his lover Alessandro. Their Russian mother, Maria, has finally returned to St Petersburg after her defection from the Soviet Party to marry Nicholas.
Following a series of increasingly distressing phone calls and letters, Gabriel rushes out to see her, only to find that she has suffered a fatal heart-attack. In the aftershock of her death, the twins finally begin to recognise the effect of Nicholas’ cruelty on their adult lives.