A remarkable novel by one of the most important Afrikaans writers of our time. The Afrikaans edition, Die boek van toeval en toeverlaat, has already won three major literary awards. Two of the novel's most important themes are loss and concealment: A woman goes to Durban to assist in an Afrikaans language preservation project. Then her cottage is burgled and her beautiful collection of shells is missing. Her determined search for her shells becomes interwoven with her work and the people she gets to know, especially her new friend, Sof. And in the process she also reflects on her life – her childhood, her family, her lovers before her marriage, her ex-husband, her current lover.