To keep his two-year-old son amused during long family dinners, a father invents a game: he tells the story of a little boy who finds himself in a scary, dangerous place—a cave perhaps, or a witch’s house, or a dark forest. Sometimes the boy rescues himself; sometimes an animal or a kindly human being helps him find his way back home. The whole family takes part in telling the story, passing it on among themselves.
When the father is killed in an accident, his wife and stepdaughter feel lost in the dark forest of grief and confusion. Neither can help the other. The mother struggles to find her own way back to life. The 15-year-old daughter meets a wolf, the husband of her mother’s best friend.