Nina, a young woman and an only child who lives with her mother in a remote village, flees during the night and hides in a stairway of an unfamiliar building. There she meets an old and demented widow that mistakes her for her granddaughter who she has not seen for many years. Nina does not correct the old lady and this mistake becomes a reality. She accepts her invitation and moves in with her, slowly taking on her granddaughter's identity.
As the story unfolds readers learn that Nina witnessed a murder and is hiding to protect both her mother and herself. This fear underlines the connections and perspectives brought together in this book, evoking immense feelings of suspense used by Lapid as a means to discuss complex issues such as immigration, marginalization and detachment.
As the plot advances these themes deepen, exposing readers to the alienation that lies at the core of the female experience, in youth and adulthood, as well as in the human condition as a whole. Lapid's surprising and enchanting book had a profound impact immediately upon its release and was named by critics as a spectacular portrait of contemporary Israeli society.
“From its brutal, stunning opening and all the way to its last page, Lapid gave us a magnificent, virtuously told novel that uses brilliantly the delicate art of restraint.” (Ha’aretz”)