The professional art-class model, mother, and divorcee, Helen Knightly spontaneously murders her mother, an agoraphobic who is suffering from severe dementia, by suffocating her with a towel. But while Helen’s act is almost unconscious, it also seems like the fulfilment of a long-cherished, buried desire, since she spent a lifetime trying to win the love of a mother who had none to spare. Over the next twenty-four hours, Helen recalls her: childhood, youth, marriage, and motherhood. Helen’s life and the omnipresent relationship with her mother rush in at her as she confronts the choices that have brought her to that crossroads. Partly absent-mindedly, partly desperately she tries to conceal her crime, and in doing so ropes her ex-husband into the conspiracy.