In a small cafe in London a teenager, Ruth, and elderly artist, Harry, recognise something profound in each other. They strike up a conversation that leads to regular meetings and takes them on a journey through their memories of traumatic times. Harry has much to tell about his childhood beside the Canal St Martin in Paris. Ruth has collected stories about her mother’s childhood in the Yorkshire Dales and London. How much has the stain of tragedy charged these memories with the pain of loss and what use can be made of the pain? Looking back on her special years with Harry, Ruth sees how shared memories — happy or sad — can reshape the ways in which we value the lives of others while fully living our own. Taking Harry back to Paris draws on a special relationship that will shape her own place in the world.