The long pursuit of a father for his daughter during and after World War II is the theme of this novel about Leo Hoffman, a chameleon who holds various passports, speaks many languages, and spies for the Allies. After his wife is killed in an explosion in Shanghai, he sends their daughter Maddy to live in New York in order to keep her out of harm’s way. Maddy is raised by a Catholic Irish surrogate family with little knowledge about her father and mother and her Jewish identity until a long lost aunt takes over her care. Despite all the difficult circumstances which conspire to keep Maddy’s father out of her life until she’s an adult, he persists in trying to reach her. Leo ultimately makes his way back to Maddy at a critical time of her life, when she is finally ready to embrace him.
Miriam Bradman Abrahams is a Cuban-born, Brooklyn-raised, Long Island-residing mom. She is Hadassah Nassau’s One Region One Book chairlady, a freelance essayist, and a certified yoga instructor who has loved reviewing books for the JBC for the past ten years.