Author Chaim Grade
Early on in his novel, Chaim Grade defines the title's meaning. An agunah is a widow who under traditional rabbinic law is prohibited from remarrying because the husband's death can not be officially confirmed. In the case of the title's character the husband is reported killed in the war when his entire company is wiped out. However, no body was ever recovered nor were there any eye-witnesses to the death. With the plot thus set, the story becomes an intriguing collection of shady and noble characters as well as the battleground for the ideals of freedom, love, desire, and cultural imperatives. Will the town's beautiful agunah be permitted to remarry? Will she abide by her religion's restraints or fatally follow her heart's desire?