In a tranquil field in early May, on the northeast slopes of the Apennines, Elisha Kruk, nineteen, of a religious home in Israel, learns that the war has ended. But for the Jewish Brigade of the British Army, with whom he serves and who have yet to engage the enemy, the war is not over. They are sent to Germany, where an incident--near murder and rape of two women by two members of the Brigade, determine their choice. The patient Tamari reminds the men that they are there to save as many survivors as possible. Giladi wants blood for blood. Elisha, fighting his own battle against the purity that clings from his upbringing and expressed in his love for the lost Noga, ultimately rejects the vengeance for which he came, concludes: ""God help my sick heart. I could not shed innocent blood. I would never know peace."" Israeli author Bartov has written a novel of some humor and considerable honesty that probes and affirms the meaning of honor.