To pursue her dream of building a life free from violence for her son and herself, Yalda flees from her nightmarish past as well as her troubled homeland, Iran. But in her new haven, she realizes that nightmares haunt not only her past, but also her present and future. She does what she can to survive, but all her plans dissolve like the shadows and ghosts that follow her. Having fled from an authoritarian regime, and now living in a North America panic-stricken by global terrorism, Yalda is obsessed with all the forms and aspects of violence. She is estranged from her beloved son, Nader, who trains to become an armed security guard, and this means he is wearing a uniform and carrying weapons, prepared to be violent. She cannot forget that her first love was shot and killed by a young prison guard and that her beloved stepbrother also met a violent death. This family history is a wound that makes guns taboo and Yalda yearns to feel safe in a troubled world. The novel is part memory, part dream, and part present, day-to-day struggles for immigrants living in Toronto and Montreal.