Paris during the 1920s. Ever since her parents' separation, ten-year-old Maisie has been travelling to and fro between her father Beale Farange and her mother Ida. She spends half a year with each one alternately. But neither parent can provide Maisie with the warmth and affection she so desperately needs. Instead, the young girl is used by her parents as a kind of courier, in an enthusiastically waged little war. All Maisie wants is a proper family again. It's only when her new governess Betty Overmore arrives on the scene that things begin to change. Mlle Betty and Maisie soon grow extremely fond of one another, and Betty develops an almost maternal affection for the young girl. Filled with mistrust, Ida Farange watches Maisie blossoming. When the mother is away on a trip and the governess and Maisie both actually go to stay with her father, Ida Farange at last has the perfect excuse to rid herself of her rival by dismissing her, ostensibly for the child's own good.