Meg Parker, an American travel-book writer, lives in the Lorraine countryside with her two small children and a neglectful husband. Domestic life is beginning to take its toll until Meg is offered her dream assignment: to write a guidebook about French history. Unfortunately, there is a catch. Jean-Jacques, a scruffy and imperious photographer, has been assigned to the project. As the dueling pair visits each region in search of the past, what they find is the colorful, food-filled present—the festive bullfights in the Camargue, the sacred gypsy pilgrimage at Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the pictographs and lightning storms of Mount Bégo. And over the course of mouthwatering meals—of lamb daube, paella and rosé, bull steak and anchioade, Brebis and strawberries—their antagonistic collaboration turns into a fiery love affair.
Meg's notions about history—about what we preserve and how we accept the new—evolve, and in the end, she must reconcile her two lives and decide what to hold on to, and what to let go.