Inga Ābele takes us on a journey through the life of Ieva, a Latvian woman in her midlife - backwards. In more or less chronologically reversed order, the novel tells the story of a woman whose youthful decisions dramatically affected the rest of her life.
Gradually, we meet the important people in Ieva's life - her grandmother, her mother and father, her brother Pāvils, and her daughter Monta - and things begin to take shape.
The uncovering of Ieva's personality and the relationship between the three main characters makes up a large part of the novel's appeal The full extent of Ieva's personal situation becomes clear only at the end.
Ābele explores the questions of how past decisions can affect our outlook on life forever and why we cling to a past that has changed us so much.
Inga Ābele plays metaphorically with images of ebb and flow, and her novel follows a structure in which real action alternates with imaginary passages that resemble inner monologues, tide-like.