In the novel, Mihali imagines the relationship between the two, renamed Yannis and Irina, as it might have developed in a brief e-mail correspondence. Irina is 24, attending university and becomes a minor celebrity in Montreal following the photo shoot. Yannis, stationed in Kandahar, shares with her his beliefs about the Taliban, on Afghan history, on the behavior of the troops, on ordinary people, on life and death. Both are immigrants, both in their individual realities, alone. Gradually, with the tension of the war in Afghanistan as the backdrop, they fall in love.