Roman Kogler, 18, is serving time in a juvenile detention centre, having been convicted of manslaughter. As he has already served half of his sentence, he could be released on probation, but his chances are poor: he is constrained , a loner, without family, and seems incapable of rehabilitation. After a failed attempt to place him in a workshop outside of the detention centre, Roman finds himself a job at the municipial funerary institution in Vienna. His new colleagues treat him in part with distrust and in part with undisguised rejection. And one day Roman is faced with a dead woman who bears his family name. Even though it soon turns out that she is not his mother, Roman starts asking questions about his heritage for the first time. A series of situations in which he has to prove himself and ensueing disappointments follows. And against all expectation precisely these disappointments make Roman stronger and more mature, and in the end lead him to the growing insight: that missed opportunities cannot be made up and that past deeds cannot be corrected, however much we may wish to. All that remains is the life we lead now and the way we do it.