Ivan goes to live with his father, Vicente, the stationmaster, in a small remote village inland Portugal. People go about their chores, each wrapped in their own life. Gloria lives with a career and seems to be slipping away from everything and everyone. Set apart from everything is the secret refuge, the only safe place on the planet. Ivan is happy to share Gloria's secret, a small heaven hidden in the river, below the water that separates the worlds. One feels like staying here.