Jean & Pauline first meet at a ball when she is twenty but have no idea what they must endure in order to stay together for the rest of their lives. Jean's first calling in life is to be a clergyman. But with his marriage dissolving he flees his wife and child and a disapproving conservative community. Free to now be with Pauline (Emmanuelle Beart), they establish a new life in Switzerland where their love prospers and they start a family of their own. Jean travels full circle when his family requests he takes over the porcelain business. He feels compelled to accept, despite predicting the struggle ahead and the strain it will put on him and Pauline. Family rivalry, the Great War and modern industrialism are just some of the obstacles that are sent to determine whether their love is destined to survive the ultimate test of time.