Giovanna’s pretty face is changing, turning ugly, at least so her father thinks. Giovanna, he says, is looking more like her Aunt Vittoria every day. But can it be true? Is she really changing? Will she turn out like her despised Aunt Vittoria, a woman she hardly knows but whom her mother and father have spent their whole lives avoiding and deriding? There must be a mirror somewhere in which she can see herself as she truly is. Giovanna is searching for her true reflection in two kindred cities that fear and detest one another: the Naples of the heights, which assumes a mask of refinement, and the Naples of the depths, a place of excess and vulgarity. She moves between these two cities, disoriented by the fact that, whether high or low, neither city seems to offer answers or escape.