51-year-old Herbert Strehlow, a furniture restorer, falls in love with 21-year-old Lea, who has not spoken a word since childhood when her father killed her mother. She bears a striking resemblance to Herbert's dead wife. They get married, but their relationship seems doomed, until gradually each one manages to penetrate the mysterious world of the other, and they begin to realize that they are bound by a kind of spiritual relationship. For Lea it is the death of her mother, for Herbert it is the death of his first wife. His hard exterior slowly beings to thaw, and he starts to show feelings and responses that soften Lea's initial hatred and fear of him, and which put their relationship in a more positive light.