Vienna before the First World War: Clarissa Schuhmeister grows up in the monastery. Strict discipline determines her life until she meets the Frenchman Léonard and falls in love with him. Just when she expects a child from him, the First World War tears the happy couple apart. Out of pragmatism, Clarissa marries Gottfried, a deserter, with whom she makes a painful yet realistic agreement so that he will not be sent back to war. But she never feels love for him because she can not forget Léonard.