These 14 stories of life in provincial Israel are populated by naive characters in a rural atmosphere where everyone knows everyone else. The narrator in many of the stories is an adolescent girl. Sensitive to the underlying tensions in this ostensibly peaceful hothouse, she is a clear-eyed observer of the xenophobia, insanity, betrayal and loneliness that lurk in the community. A woman is raped and keeps silent. An ageing spinster tries to attract a man. A young girl suffers agonies because of her deformed arm.
"Gilboa conveys the suffocation, the provinciality and the complex human relations that characterize small-town Israel," wrote Ha'aretz. "She draws the landscape and the people with fine precision." Hadashot links these stories to the Israeli genre of immigrant literature that shows the raw roots of people who have lost their past: "Shulamit Gilboa has succeeded in mixing cruel realism with lyricism."