Two strangers – generations and oceans apart – have a chance to save each other in this moving and suspenseful novel about family secrets and the ineffable connections that attach us.
In a small Northern Italian village, nine-year-old Luca Taviano catches a stubborn cold and is subsequently diagnosed with leukemia. His only hope for survival is a bone marrow transplant. After an exhaustive search, a match turns up three thousand miles away in the form of a most unlikely donor: Joseph Neiman, a rabbi in Brooklyn, New York, who is suffering from a debilitating crisis of faith. As Luca’s young nurse, Nina Vocelli, risks her career and races against time to help save the spirited redheaded boy, she uncovers terrible secrets from World War II – secrets that reveal how a Catholic child could have Jewish genes.
Can inheritance be transcended by accidents of love? That is the question at the heart of This Magnificent Dappled Sea, a novel that challenges the idea of identity and celebrates the ties that bind us together.