France, 1942. Violette Leduc, an insecure young woman, takes refuge in the countryside with her friend, writer Maurice Sachs, to avoid the horrors of the Occupation. Sachs encourages Violette to write in order to pass the time. She discovers a copy of a book by Simone de Beauvoir and when she returns to Paris, Violet manages to get acquainted with Simone, giving her the manuscript of her first autobiographical novel, "The Asphyxiation" to read. Impressed by the talent and passion of this wounded soul, the writer uses her influence to ensure that the work is published. When it’s released, the book gets recognition from the literary community but not from the public. Violet, increasingly psychologically unstable and in love with Simone, clings to her. Simone and industrial philanthropist Jacques Guérin feel obligated to help Violet. Jacques even helps publish at his own expense a deluxe edition of her next work, "The Hungry."