This novel revolves around three characters: Roman Guttman, a Russian-born postmodern architect in Israel; Anyusha Guttman, his 13-year-old daughter; and Ami, a young Palestinian.
As the novel begins, Roman is injured in a bus bombing, and this incident throws him into a confused state of mind. At times he reverts to his past and his life in Russia, his meeting and relationship with Anyusha (Anna)'s mother, and the events that caused him to come to Israel. He takes a drive out into Palestinian territory and the journey results in more difficulties.
Meanwhile Anna has become more involved with an extremist Jewish sect, unknown to Roman, and his absence results in a lack of supervision that makes her more vulnerable to their influences.
Amir observes both Anna and Roman from his otherworldly position, for he was the one that bombed the bus that caused Roman's injuries. We see how his life led to this action, how he feels about it now, and how he feels about Roman and Anna's actions.
This is a story about extremism in its different forms and the outcomes for both society and surviving individuals. It is about love, and how it can lead us to do things we would never have dreamed of doing. It is about the uncertainty of life and how intermingled our lives are.
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