Sometimes - perhaps only for an instant - we fail to recognise a companion. When this happens to lovers, the effect is acute: for a moment the identity of the loved one ceases to exist, and we come to doubt our own. Such a situation - and the resulting wave of panic - is at the core of Kundera's new novel. In a narrative as intense as it is brief, a moment of confusion sets in motion a complex chain of events which forces the reader to cross and recross the divide between fantasy and reality. Only Milan Kundera could transform such a personal and disquieting experience into the stuff of romance. This is one of his most profound, touching and illuminating books. And, in an unexpected way, a love story.