The events of the novel take place beneath the dome of a mosque, which is given different names by the Arab and Amazigh Berber inhabitants of the city. It follows the lives of three beautiful French Catholic women who decide to embrace Islam, each with a particular motivation: the first sexual, the second cultural and the last to spy on the Muslim community. Their decision to embrace the religion provokes conflict among the men, from the Imam presiding over their conversion ceremony who woos them one by one, to the journalist who comes to the city on another assignment but ends up interviewing the three lovely converts, hoping to be lucky with one of them. Another suitor is a young man claiming he is the great grandson of Napoleon the Third, who visited the town of Rezilan, east of Oran, in 1865 and spent an afternoon there with a woman who later gave birth to his grandfather. His origins drive him towards the same goal as the others. In engaging narrative style, somewhere between history and fantasy, The Goatherd portrays the destructive effects of the relationship with ‘the Other’, and exposes dealers of religion in an Arab world sunk deep in corruption and the culture of hypocrisy.