In the late 1990'a members of the Matcha family gather in a country town near Prague, Czech Republic, for their mothers funeral and wake.There are skeletons in this family's cupboard, even more so as the society's values have been distorted by several decades of a totalitarian system. The narrator of the story is Pepi, one of the sons, a wheelchair bound mute; but Pepi has a sharp mind and is acutely aware of the tensions that tear his family apart. Another son performs a shadowy function in a state ministry, even in the new 'free' society. Another is a chemist with a degree from a Moscow University where he was also taught to spy on his countrymen; his Russian wife was taught to spy on him. Another son is a window cleaner trying to keep up with his brothers. The fifth son escaped to Australia in the 1960s where he has his own family and is now being drawn into his brothers less-than-ethical dealings. The daughter, the youngest of them all, represents the new idealism and hopes of the nation. All these characters help to create a credible portrait of the post-socialist Czech Republic's people, their dreams and aspirations as well as the devils that haunt them. Pepi, in the end, offers himself as the sacrificial lamb to shock his family into something resembling a humane solution to their dilemmas.