In a completely unique blending of the themes and genres of which he has proven himself a master, Raphael now treats us to something entirely new -- part mystery, part saga of the generations, a novel in which the problems of a contemporary Jewish family find their roots in the unspeakable secrets of holocaust survivors.
Paul Menkus has spent his life running -- from New York, the city of his birth; from his beautiful beloved; from contact with his own brother and sister; but mostly from his mother, a holocaust survivor of unparalleled coldness. Her shattering inability to offer warmth and approval, or even remotely show love, has scarred each of the Menkus children -- Dina has fled the country and married a devout Catholic; Simon has led a sexually profligate life addled with drugs. Upon their mother's mysterious death, the children dutifully return home in search of answers to the family's legacy of unhappiness. But only more questions confront them: Why and how did this healthy woman die? Why did she divide their inheritance so that Paul, the errant son to whom she hadn't spoken in years, was singled out to receive the largest share, the dreaded "German money," a bequest of a million dollars accrued from German reparations to survivors... a gift as cynical as it is generous. Navigating the rocky shores of family memory, picking up the pieces of a life torn apart by his parents' history, Paul discovers the unthinkable, and in doing so finds the courage to stop running from a legacy which is painful to embrace but impossible to forget.