She then meets the apartment concierge who is, herself, plain, and does everything to to be sure that no one sees beauty in her. Each of these characters is more brilliant than her surroundings both in the power of her mind and in her perception of the world. Paloma, the child, sees beauty in a moment of time as a rose drops from its stem forever changing the space of time during which it dropped. Renee, the concierge recognizes that beauty is universal, seen in both a still life of Vermeer and the kindness of a friend.Wonderfully translated from French, the novel describes the encounters of a beautiful child who only sees life's ugliness. In response she plans to end her own life from a world and family that is not worthy of her.