It is 1919. On a summer's night in Normandy, a new-born baby is left in a basket outside the home of Albert and Jeanne Arnaud.
The childless couple take the foundling in, name him Jean, and decide to raise him as their own, though his parentage remains a mystery. Though Jean's life is never dull, he grows up knowing little of what lies beyond his local area.
Until the day he sets off on his bicycle to discover the world, and encounters a Europe on the threshold of interesting times...