A little girl finds a shell, shaped like a lopsided heart, on the beach. The relic is much like life itself; rough, smooth and at times . . . amusing. Its power is revealed when families from Warsaw, New York City and San Diego come together, their interaction becoming both tragic and triumphant. Abuse, addiction, loss and death stalk the characters, and only the ones who can rise above catastrophe survive and prosper. Courage, determination and perseverance are essential, but luck . . . or the divine . . . can be crucial. How do you find love again when the only one you truly love is killed? How do you deal with an only child who risks becoming a dangerous failure? What bizarre happening could reverse the downward spiral of an abusive and self-centered alcoholic? What do you do when you find your newborn daughter, lost for seven years, is being loved and well cared for by another family? All these questions, and more, are dealt with by the author who spent his life taking care of ailing people and interacting with countless families. The novel is fiction, but readers may find something of their own lives mirrored in the book. There is little in these pages that hasn't happened to someone, somewhere.