Published by: Croatia - Svjetlost (1963); Czech Republic - SNKLU (1962); Denmark - Kbh (1962); France - Seuil (1963); Germany - Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt (1962), Ullstein Verlag (1981); Italy - Einaudi (1961); Israel - משרד הבטחון; Poland - Panstwowy Instytut Wydawniczy (1961); Slovakia - Slovenské vydavatelstvo krásnej literatúry (1962); Spain - Editorial Mateu (1962); UK - Cresset Press (1963), Cambridge University Press (1967); USA - Pantheon Books (1962),
Set in 1960's Russia, the novel tells the story of Kira Georgievna, a middle-aged successful sculptor, passively married to Nikolai, a much older painter. Each completely engrossed in their work, they become entirely emotionally detached from one another. At this point we meet Vadim, the man Kira was engaged to marry twenty-five years earlier. Their plan was destroyed upon Vadim's arrest by the Solviet police, which earned him a twenty-year sentence in Siberia. Now married with a five-year-old son, his curiosity leads him back to Kira. They fall in love all over again and plan to start a new life, but complications naturally arise when they realize the sacrifices that must be made in order to be together.