Yoel Blum, a highly successful Israeli writer, is in Amsterdam for the first time since his mother fled with him and his sister during the Holocaust. Though he had promised his late mother never to return to Amsterdam, his publisher insists he be present for the launch of his newest novel. While there, Yoel wanders into the Jewish History Museum and spots, in a slide show, a photo of his mother with his sister at her side and a baby boy in her arms that is not Noel. The mystery of the identity of the child in the photo and of Yoel’s own identity thrust him into a story that blends history and present, which live simultaneously, one on top of the other. The horror of witnessing the incremental chipping away of freedom is expressed in descriptive layered writing.