What appears at first sight to be a conventional novel written from the point-of-view of Balfour Shub, who is struggling to write a novel, soon emerges as a reconstruction of his work by his son, Nimrod. The young historian goes reluctantly to the United States to tend to his sick father and bring him back to Israel. He returns with his father's coffin and a literary inheritance consisting mainly of 26 tapes, in which Balfour Shub reveals his life, his thoughts and his preoccupations. While unfolding the canvas of his father's life, Nimrod also tackles life in Israel with the various generations, the women and friends who peopled the different worlds of father and son.
Bartov's novel reveals a Jewish multi-generational world. Bartov depicts Israeli emigrants, kibbutzniks, sons who rebel against their parents, or sons trying to mend the rifts in their religious outlook.
This is a novel reflected in its own mirror, a novel which blurs the boundaries of fiction and reality, which goes beyond the form of the conventional novel yet succeeds in being realistic. In this respect, In the Middle of it All is the most complete novel Bartov has written so far, and his protagonist is an image of the mature, perplexed, compliant, desperate yet sensitive and self-aware Israeli.