The novel opens in a provincial mental health hospital on the morning of the 14th February 2007 and comes to a cataclysmic end several hours later Lacklustre guest speaker ('Love: Self-sacrifice? Or Self-preservation?') Ülkü Birinci fails to impress the Medical Director, whose plans to write the history of the hospital are destined to remain stillborn. Town elder Türkan, retired judge and staunch Kemalist, leaves him gaping at her photographic archive, grasp of new media, research methods and sheer intelligence. As this literary palimpsest unfolds, the reader travels through time and space, to 1875 and back again, between the Caucasus, Ottoman and Republican Turkey, Europe and the USA, through wars, reform, riots, and coups d'état.