Alice loves to paint pictures of fish. Her only problem is her addiction to cakes and pastries. To feed this obsession, she steals ...and to rid herself of her spoils, she makes herself sick. Stick thin, Alice puts her fragile mind into the care of a psychiatrist, Professor Lucas, and tries to learn the rules people should live by. But her recovery soon brings a new and dangerous addiction -- Brendan. As Alice struggles to cope with Brendan's violent outbursts, her dying father and poverty, she takes solace in her job at a massage parlour where she finds comfort with motherly Helen. But these are just temporary respites as her life with Brendan spirals downwards becoming a nightmarish maze.