A satisfyingly plump but well-corseted saga of a European soap magnate's single-minded daughter, who is robbed of her secure home and plods back to the heights during two decades of hard times. On New Year's Eve, 1899, Camilla, trusting her weak, adored father's word that she will always possess the family house, is prepared to sacrifice herself in a marriage of convenience to save Father's business. But predatory Mother springs a legal trap, and Camilla and her father are ousted and penniless, forced to live in the sticks. Then along comes boyish soap drummer Max, who plans to take Father on as a partner and capture the mass markets of Germany. Camilla, liking Max and the prospect of deliverance even more, marries him, as Mother and three wicked sisters gloat. But Camilla has the last laugh (though she's too nice to exploit it) when, after years of toil and rue, life glitters anew with bourgeois splendor, and there's a party in the dear old house, now hers again. Perhaps remembering her one extra-marital passionate idyll, Camilla muses, ""Love is one of the things to hold on to."" And so--for the softhearted--is this dependable distraction.