Objectively, Odette Toulemonde has nothing to be happy about, but is. Balthazar Balsan has everything to be happy about, but isn’t. Odette, awkwardly forty, with a delightful hairdresser son and a daughter bogged down in adolescence, spends her days behind the cosmetic’s counter in a department store and her nights sewing feathers on costumes for Parisian variety shows. She dreams of thanking Balthazar Balsan, her favorite author, to whom – she believes – she owes her optimism. The rich and charming Parisian writer then turns up in her life in an unexpected way.