Rachel Talshir's second novel is not merely the story of three generations of a Jewish family but a novel that seeks to examine Jewish and Israeli existence throughout the twentieth century.
At the center of the plot is 85-year-old Mirka, a member of a kibbutz in the south of Israel, who is waiting to meet a figure from her past. As she sits watching a popular TV interview program, she reviews her life looking at where things went wrong. In the beginning she is in the family's little tailor shop in Lodz, Poland in charge of the embroidery machine. She falls in love with Hashek, son of a wealthy carpenter. When the Germans invade Poland, the family is forced into the Lodz ghetto, where her mother and invalid sister die. Mirka and her brothers are sent to a German labour camp and again she falls in love, this time with a young German called Dolfi, a married man with a child. Returning to Lodz after the war, she marries Hashek and they emigrate to Israel. Life begins anew in the kibbutz, but can one really fashion life anew in Israel? It appears not. Hashek, who does not take to kibbutz life, turns to business again and the kibbutz decides to revoke his membership. Mirka's only daughter, Daphne becomes alienated from her mother and decides to live her life with a Moroccan from a development town, whose family's Jewish traditions appeal to her more than kibbutz life does. Ruby, her brother Bezalel's son, who fails to make the grade in a pilot's course in the Air Force, is caught shoplifting in a clothing store and vandalizes the Holocaust archives of the kibbutz. He leaves the kibbutz and the country, becoming a famous artist whose work is shown at the Whitney Museum in New York. The plot reaches an emotional climax when the guest who comes to meet the aged Mirka is revealed to be Dolfi's son. He has come to tell the woman who wrote to his father all her life - but whom he has never met - of his father's death in the labor camp.
English translation available (for publishers only)