Lalya is a unique figure in Israeli literature, although the reason she is exceptional is hard to define. It certainly stems in part from her origins, from her parents, from her appearance and even from her foreign, melodic name. But there is an additional, internal element involved. She was born in Chernovitz in the Ukraine, and came to Israel with her parents at the age of five in the great wave of immigration of the early 70s.
The first part of the novel shifts between descriptions of her upbringing in a poor neighborhood in Ashdod and the life of her mother Hanna in the Ukraine, where as a young woman she engaged in prostitution for a time, together with her sister. Hanna, a hard woman, incapable of love, marries a weak-natured man and refuses to become a mother. Lalya is an "accident" and grows up like a wild flower without maternal love. In Ashdod she stands out because of her blonde hair, her height and her exuberant sexuality. Lalya becomes a wild, rebellious teenager who scorns the petty bourgeois dreams of other girls her age and the "respectable" lifestyle. There is something attractive and intimidating, mysterious and aggressive about her, but, unlike her mother, she loves life, yearns for love, but doesn`t know how to go about getting it. She joins a group of young people on the fringes of society, lives in a commune on the beach and then in Eilat with other alienated boys and girls. But Lalya never loses control and knows how to live on the edge. At a certain point, she starts a relationship with Daniel, a boy from an established Israeli family, and together they try to overcome their inherent despair and contempt. But Daniel is not strong enough; he turns bourgeois and opts for a regular life, while Lalya refuses to get stuck in a rut. She becomes an artist, and continues to seek happiness and to pay the price for being a misfit.