Exactly 50 years after I made my first trip to Paris, the exhilaration of that memory came rushing back with Kercheval's compelling yarn, which she spins like the finest gossamer, both revealing and hiding the truth.
When her husband and 8-year-old daughter are killed in a car accident Emma retreats into unabated grief, having never reconciled the fairly recent deaths of her parents.
The appearance of her not-so-loved aunt and her revelation of Emma's status as an 'adopted child' propels Emma into a whirlwind set of flights from her Midwest home to New York City to Paris, to Moscow, and back to Paris.
We're with her through it all — angry, reckless, mad with rage, trying to recoup some semblance of family and self-identity.
Is what transpires possible, plausible, permissible given 'the facts'? In this finely-wrought odyssey of reconstructing a life while tracing birth parents, Kercheval's prose reads like woof scuttling feverishly to fill in the warp.