It's about translation, about language, both written and spoken, read and heard. It's about rereading, rephrasing, rewriting, and reimagining. It's also about sex, about skin (on skin), about adolescence and about the frailties of aging, about explosion, death, surprise, and dull, extended aches. It's about the desert, about driving through the night, and about the tensions between desire and maintenance, passion and fear. In the book, a girl drives her mother's car, meets a woman, watches her die. Then, a woman works to translate the book you've just read. Then you read the translation, which is both very much different and exactly the same.
Oh yeah, and the copy I'm reading is in English, translated from the French. Which just adds another layer of complication to all of this, because you can feel the language barrier sometimes, notice that the sentences were constructed with a different kind of grammar.
I can't remember when the last time was that I was able to give a clear, concise answer to the question: "What's that book about?" Any book can fit into that question, but now I'm talking about this one.