Nurdin Lalani and his family, Asian immigrants from Africa, have come to the Toronto suburb of Don Mills only to find that the old world and its values pursue them. A genial orderly at a downtown hospital, he has been accused of sexually assaulting a girl. Although he is innocent, traditional propriety prompts him to question the purity of his own thoughts. Ultimately, his friendship with the enlightened Sushila offers him an alluring freedom from a past that haunts him, a marriage that has become routine, and from the trials of coping with teenage children. Introducing us to a cast of vividly drawn characters within this immigrant community, Vassanji is a keen observer of lives caught between one world and another.