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Several stories by Birgit Tengroth intertwine. In 1946, nervous ballet dancer Rut and her husband Bertil are returning to Sweden from his scholarship tour around Italy. In a Basle hotel room and on a train they quarrel, give food through the window to starving Germans, overhear wisdoms about marriage by Swedish clergymen returning from a conference, and finally make up. In flashbacks, Rut reminisces her romance with middle-aged officer Raoul, her subsequent abortion, and her ballet career. In a seemingly separate episode set in quiet Stockholm during Midsummer, middle-aged widow Viola is harassed first by a psychiatrist, Dr. Rosengren, and then by a lesbian old school-friend Valborg, with tragic consequences.

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