This completes the "food trilogy" (Chocolat, Blackberry Wine) and explores some of the same themes, although this third book is much darker than the previous two. Set in a small village near Angers on the Loire, it deals with the fortunes of a widow and her three children, Cassis, Reine-Claude and Framboise, against the background of the German Occupation. With no father and only their harsh and overworked mother to care for them, the three children inhabit a strange and brutal world in which adults are a different race, and which works according to a completely different set of moral values. Into this circle comes Tomas Leibnitz, a German soldier who secretly befriends the three children and leads them step-by-step into a world of betrayal, blackmail and lies.
A lifetime later, Framboise, the last survivor of the ill-fated group, returns under a different identity to the village in which she was born, meaning to make a new start as the proprietor of a small crêperie-restaurant. But she is still haunted by the past and by an unresolved mystery, recalled once more to life by the encrypted writing in her mother's old book of recipes.