Strangers did not, as a rule, find their way to Chez Dom, asmall, dingy Tunisian caf on Paris' distant fringes. Run bythe widow Houria and her young niece, Sabiha, the caf offers ahome away from home for the North African immigrant workerstoiling at the great abattoirs of Vaugiraud. But when oneday a lost Australian tourist, John Patterner, seeks shelter in thecaf from a sudden Parisian rainstorm, the quiet simplicities oftheir lives are changed forever.
John is like no one Sabiha has met before--his calm greyeyes promise her a future she was not yet even aware she wanted.Theirs becomes a contented but unlikely marriage--a marriageof two cultures lived in a third--and yet because they areessentially foreigners to each other, their love story sets in motionan irrevocable course of tragic events.
Years later, living a small, quiet life in suburban Melbourne,what happened at Vaugiraud seems like a distant, troublingdream to Sabiha and John. It is a story about home and family,human frailties and passions, raising questions of morals andpurpose--questions that have no simple answer.