Lilia Liska has shrewdly outlived three husbands, raised five children, and seen the arrival of seventeen grandchildren. Now she has turned her keen attention to the diary of a long-forgotten man named Roland Bouley, with whom she once had a fleeting affair.
Increasingly obsessed by Roland’s intimate history, Lilia begins to annotate his diary with her own rather different version of events, revealing the surprising, long-held secrets of her past. She returns inexorably to the memory of her daughter, Lucy. This is a novel about life, in all its messy glory, and of a life lived, for the extraordinary Lilia, absolutely on its own terms. With great candor and insight, Yiyun Li navigates the twin poles of grief and resilience, loss and rebirth, that compass a human heart.