The reader is invited into a recognisable world of kitchen, park, garden and a retired deli owner who still loves to love and nurture other people. The pace of the prose is that of a man in older age taking a brisk walk, well brisk for him, through familiar surroundings. We get to see his world on both sides of the window shown on the cover.
Similarly, the kitchen is known to all of us, though we may not know about how to smoke fish or prepare all the food he will offer to guests. Such a comfortably familiar set of surroundings, the daily chaos of our own kitchens!
We also see the world through Mona’s eyes and enter the world with her, a world which is confusingly unfamiliar to her. She is not lost but does not know how to find her way around this place, because it has slipped into a place parallel but differing to the one in her memory.
The pace of the prose quickens as Wolfie becomes anxious about his wife. We recognise the signs and begin to enter into his experience of suppressed anxiety and confusion.
These two characters have shared so much, for so long, that we feel something must happen to help them both to cope with a new reality, one in which perceptions are skewed by more than age.