Irena is a Czech émigré living in France. After the fall of communism she decides to have a ‘Great Return' to Prague to visit her old friends. At the airport she bumps into Josef, an old acquaintance of hers, who she wanted to have an affair with 20 years before. They agree to meet up in Prague. However Josef doesn't remember who Irena is. Irena finds her friends aren't interested in her life in Paris. When Irena and Josef meet up they end up in bed and it isn't until after they have made love that Irena realises the truth that Josef does not even know her name. This novel deals with memory and how two people can experience the same events but years later remember different things. It is also about the experience of émigrés and the nostalgia they can feel, or not, for their homelands.
This report prepared by John Marcel