During two late night sessions Heleen, recently admitted as a patient to a mental institution, tells the night nurse her life story. She is the eldest in a working class household, that steadily fills up with nine other children. Her life is given a new perspective when she decides to spend the night with the well-situated Mr. Groenmans in Hotel Royal. Not long after, he finds her employment in the city as a sales person in an exclusive men’s clothing store. Craving success, and wanting so badly to flee her restrictive background, she quickly climbs the social ladder.
Marianne Philips describes a life of riches and humiliation, driven by hatred as much as by love. What starts out as the tale of an ambitious young woman, that all of a sudden has to be a mother to her youngest sibling, turns into a feverish tale of a woman who falls off her self-made pedestal.