Fausta is ill with a disease contracted from her mother's breast milk known as “the milk of sorrow”. However, this is not a sickness caused by bacteria or infection: it is a condition that only affects those women in Peru who were abused or raped during the years of terrorist struggle. Although this horrific period is now history, Fausta is nonetheless a living reminder of this time. Her sickness is fear – and it has robbed her of her soul. When her mother suddenly dies, Fausta is forced to face her fears.