Following the death of her mother, Laura begins a reassessment of her life. She is reasonably happy, with her life in Kiel, with her job at the college, with her modest success as a writer, with her friends in and around the triangle platz at the top of Hill Street, fondly known in English mistranslation as Triangle Square. But there is still something missing. And so she embarks on a search for the father she never knew, a search initially conducted by letter as she uncovers the branches of the Colbourne family both closely and distantly connected with her: a search that is also carried out in her mind as she unearths emotions and memories from her childhood in Britain. When she eventually traces her father, she is too late; he has died years before. However, as a legacy in the few papers he left behind, she finds reconciliation with him and with her own identity, and the courage to be able to face the future.