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A couple, long married, are spending an unaccustomed week apart. Ya'ari, an engineer, is busy juggling the day-to-day needs of his elderly father, his children, and his grandchildren. His wife, Daniela, flies from Tel Aviv to East Africa to mourn the death of her older sister. There she confronts her anguished brother-in-law, Yirmiyahu, whose soldier son was killed six years earlier in the West Bank by “friendly fire." Yirmiyahu is now managing a team of African researchers digging for the bones of man’s primate ancestors as he desperately strives to detach himself from every shred of his identity, Jewish and Israeli.  

With great artistry, A. B. Yehoshua has once again written a rich, compassionate, rewarding novel in which sharply rendered details of modern Israeli life and age-old mysteries of human existence echo one another in complex and surprising ways.

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