Czech expatriot Irena, who has been living in France - Kundera self reference - decides to return to her home after twenty years. There she meets an old flame.
The novel examines the feelings instigated by the return to a homeland, which has ceased to be a home. In doing so, it reworks the old theme of Odysseus. It also delves into love and its manifestations - a recurring theme in Kundera's novels. The picture painted is in the end poignant.