In the summer of 1994, Georges Montero, a pied noir--a Frenchman born and raised in North Africa--sets foot in France for the first time to undergo a cataract operation in Paris. The young eye surgeon who treats him, Tarek Timzert, is of North African heritage, but considers himself French; he doesn't speak Arabic and has never visited the land of his ancestors. George who owns an olive processing plant in Oran and adores life's leisurely rhythms in Algeria, intends to head straight home--even though since the time of Algeria's declaration of independence from France in 1962, revolts against French emigrees have gotten worse. And currently, the fundamentalists are slaughtering artists and intellectuals at a horrifying pace. As Georges wrestles with the tug of blood and romantic ties, Tarek realizes the life of Gallic affluence he's built for himself runs counter to his historic roots. The two men--one nearing retirement, the other just starting out in life--form a mutually supportive bond.