Orphaned as a child in a car crash caused by her unstable mother Ruth is not happy to fall unexpectedly pregnant by husband Patrick. After baby Thomas is born the young couple move to a little house in the country bought for them by his parents,Frederick and Elizabeth,who live nearby. Ruth does not cope well with motherhood and finds Elizabeth gradually taking over her role in a subtle,manipulative way,though she is outwardly kind and friendly. Ruth believes Thomas senses she did not want him and is far better behaved for her mother-in-law,who dotes on him. After she thinks she sees her mother walking in the woods she is diagnosed with a form of post-natal depression and given pills. However Elizabeth coerces Patrick into persuading her to take in-patient psychiatric treatment.
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