Lorry and Minnie are ex-hookers who leave prison, determined to find the good life with rich men. Along the way Lorry meets and falls in love with cotton barge owner Dan. She must choose between living on a barge with her love, risking his learning about her past, and remaining the mistress of wealthy Stephen Paige.
Three intertwined tales. On the eve of the First World War, Count Forbek starts to build a fantastic castle in the Ardennes forest. After the war he uses it to start a utopian society by brainwashing his friends, including his former fiancee, Livia, and her husband. In the present day, the castle is being used as an alternative school and, in the summer holidays, for an educational conference.