The novel is set during the tragic few weeks in June-July 1941, when the German army in a sudden attack defeated the Red Army and within a few days occupied Lithuania. Kanovich limits the spatial horizon of his novel to a small isolated village deep in the Lithuanian heartland. The village is too insignificant for the Germans to maintain their presence there, and its residents are left to their own devices. Slowly and painstakingly, Kanovich investigates the spiritual depths of the characters, simple shtetl Jews and Lithuanian peasants, exposing their moral strengths and weaknesses.
As in his previous novel SHTETL ROMANCE this Lithuanian author who is writing in Russian, is exploring the fundamental and universal ethical conflict between good and evil, which transcends the limits of concrete space and time.