In the middle of the twenty-first century, corporations run almost everything. After Shira Shipman's marriage has broken up, and her young son has been taken from her by the corporation that runs her zone, she returns to Tikva, a Jewish free town where she grew up. As a result of global warming, it is deemed unsafe, and so far, has been left as a free city. Shira moves in with Malkah, the brilliant grandmother who raised her.
Sarah takes a job with Avram, a cybernetics expert. Avram has created a golem, a robot, to protect the free city. Yod is a unique cyborg implanted with intelligence, emotions and the ability to kill. Shira develops an unusual relationship with Yod, who, like Frankenstein's monster, is filled with both love and hate. Shira is to make Yod indistinguishable from humans. What she teaches Yod is to become a man that a woman ideally wants. The two begin a romantic relationship. Meanwhile, she must deal with her own past and past loves, and mistakes which led to the loss of her son. She and Yod decide to retrieve her son.
The story also tells the parallel legend of Jacob, who created a golem from the Ghetto of Prague, a clay creature created to protect the people from a pogrom. Shira's grandmother, who programmed Yod, leaves portions of Jacob's story in the settlement's communication network. Yod, like the golem, was built to protect the city from corporate attackers.
This report prepared by L. Watson