Shalev reminds readers in keen, often brilliant prose that love, like pain, is indelible…a riveting exploration of family, sex and motherhood.” —New York Times Book Review
“Always incisive on the complexities of family and relationship dynamics…Shalev plunges the reader into a whirlwind story of impossible choices.” —The Guardian, Best New Books in Translation
“Shalev is especially attentive to the way that wounds never completely vanish, causing infinitely splintering recriminations and deliberations, and to the nuances of marriage, motherhood, middle-age and middle-class ennui. Iris’s spinning, capricious internal monologue is evoked with a dreamlike intensity…Pain burrows under the skin.” —Times Literary Supplement
A powerful, astute novel that exposes how old passions can return, testing our capacity to make choices about what is most essential in life.
Ten years after she was seriously injured in a terrorist attack, the pain comes back to torment Iris. But that is not all: Eitan, the love of her youth, also comes back into her life. Though their relationship ended many years ago, she was more deeply wounded when he left her than by the suicide bomber who blew himself up next to her.
Iris's marriage is stagnant. Her two children have grown up and are almost independent; she herself has become a dedicated, successful school principal. Now, after years without passion and joy, Eitan brings them back into her life. But she must concoct all sorts of lies to conceal her affair from her family, and the lies become more and more complicated.
Is this an impossible predicament, or on the contrary a scintillating revelation of the many ways life's twists and turns can bring us to a place we would never have expected to be?