A timely novel of a Polish-Jewish immigrant’s struggle against all odds for an American identity—beginning with a necessary lie at Ellis Island.
Abroad, in pre-World War II Poland, the goose step of Nazism is intensifying, and panic is taking hold. Widespread fear of “the other” has reached a fever pitch. One man who has taken flight is Harry Himelbaum. All he wants is to live somewhere happy, and then to safely send for the wife and child he has left behind in order to pursue the American Dream.
In the United States, the country is still feeling the shock waves of the Great Depression. Dust storms are decimating the prairie states, leaving behind a choking and arid wasteland. And in Iowa, Will Brown, a zealously patriotic lawyer, has dedicated himself to staunchly upholding the nation’s laws—unyielding in his effort to keep his country purely and unambiguously American.
Soon, the paths of two families and two desperate ideals will cross, in ways both inevitable and unexpected, that will change all their lives forever.
Based on the true story of the author’s father, this heart-wrenching clash of love and loyalties, and burgeoning patriotism, is a picture of an America torn between being a symbol of hope for immigrants and a proud nation fighting to re-create itself—“one of those big sprawling novels that you just can't put down. It brings together all the passion, heartbreak and resolute spirit of the immigrant experience” (Richard DiLallo, co-author of Alex Cross's Trial).