Adèle came reluctantly into the world; she was a breech baby whose first act was the refusal to turn. She and her mother were at odds from the start, with food as the battleground. When her mother gave up the fight with Adèle, she also gave up her fight with her life and her marriage. She tried and failed at suicide; then she demanded a divorce, and went off to live in a commune. Adèle was entrusted to her grandmother, a woman quite different from her mother, who turned Adèle into a sensual young woman who was not only no longer averse to food, but actually, truly, quite enjoyed it.
And then Adèle turns eighteen, since feels herself to be an adult, tells her grandmother she is going to live in Paris and study at the university. She does go to Paris, but instead becomes an artist's model, coveted for her smooth, plump contours. The more Adèle exposes her body to the eyes of others, the further she retreats into herself. She decides that her new path of growth will take place not by turning to meditation, yoga, or any of the other spiritual quests available in this world, but by becoming big. Bigger.
As she grows, she gradually attracts the attention of one of the art students. Antoine is not typically drawn to round women, but something about Adèle's body haunts him and he slowly realizes he cannot live without her. When they move in together, Adèle abandons any outside activities. All she does is wait for Antoine to come home in the evening and make love to her. And she eats. Her folds and bulges drive him crazy and he encourages her to grow even bigger. The neighbors begin to complain about cracks in the walls and ceiling that her weight is causing, and it becomes evident that they will have to move. But if they do, there is a chance that Adèle will no longer be Antoine's alone. Can their love face its first, and perhaps last, great hurdle?