It's interesting to look at a country and its people, especially your own, through the eyes of an outsider. Hugo Hamilton offers us the Vid Cosic, a Serbian now living in Dublin as our guide in this novel. Vid has little memory of his past, nor does he want it. Because of this he becomes more interested in the past of his new home and the people around him, namely the Concannon family. Kevin Concannon practically forces his friendship on Vid and brings him into the centre of his life. Vid cannot help but become interested and involved, only to find that the Concannon family isn't ready to deal with its own past.

Behind a lot of the story is another, that of an unmarried pregnant woman who was denounced by the church and whose dead body washed up on the Aran Islands many years early. This story seems to be based on truth, though the rest of the novel is fiction built around it. There seems to be a certain theme running throughout the novel, one in which everyone wishes to forget the mistakes taught by history only to repeat them (or nearly repeat them).

This is a good novel, well written and interesting. Hamilton portrays a contemporary Ireland (Northern Ireland included, for a little bit), one where history revolves around stories of rebellion and troubles, one where the sins are always of the fathers, one devoid of personal guilt.