A woman seeks refuge for herself and her daughter in the household of a childhood friend. The friend, Alice Kytler, gives her former companion a new name, Petronelle, a job as a servant, and warns her to hide their old connection. In the months that follow Petronelle learns that in the city pride, greed and envy are as dangerous as the wolves that prowl the savage countryside. And she realises that Alice’s household is no place of safety. Once again, Petronelle decides to flee with her daughter. But this time she confronts forces greater than she could ever have imagined and she finds herself fighting for more than her freedom.