In this affecting, perceptive novel, Rachel Kadish reflects on the ghosts of the past, the tensions of war, and the difficult bonds of family. When Maya enrolls at Hebrew University in Jerusalem shortly after the Gulf War, she hopes to leave New York and a fraught relationship with her mother behind her. In Israel, she gets to know her older cousin Tami, a housewife whose home has a room sealed against the war’s Scud missile attacks. Like Maya, Tami feels distanced from the people closest to her — her mother, her husband, her only son. But it will ultimately be Maya’s visits with Shifra, an elderly recluse and Holocaust survivor who lives in the apartment below her, that give Maya the courage to confront her problems and break free of the burdens of her past.