The elements of recent history of the Czech Republic, and Prague in particular, are in evidence in this book. The main character, Kristyna, is a divorced woman with a teenaged daughter whose grandmother and other family on her mother's side died in Nazi death camps, having been divorced by her non-Jewish husband. And her father was a staunch Stalinist to the end of his life. The mother didn't pass along her Jewish heritage, or even tell how her mother had died. Another character is a young man whose job is to investigate the misdeeds of officials during the Communist years. He passes along the discoveries he has made, but no action is taken. He feels threatened by his knowledge; he is sure that one day one of the subjects of his investigations will kill him. Kristyna is a mass of insecurities, feeling unable to cope as a mother, and feels guilty about not being able to hold onto her husband, as she puts it. The alienation is palpable. Eventually things look up: Kristyna finds help for her drug-addicted daughter, she connects with her sister, she visits and cares for her dying ex-husband, she finds solace in the company of her mother, and she accepts the love of the much younger man, despite her focus on the fact that it will not last forever.