In search of the key to unlock a great family mystery, Lemon Leopold, a Hollywood starlet, and her cousin Eliza, a romance writer, go to Berlin. Soon they are on a trail that leads back to their great-grandfather, Jozef Apfel, a Jewish pioneer of psychoanalysis in early twentieth-century Germany.
Alternating between the great doctor’s household, the mysterious case of his patient Elsa Z., the rise of Nazi Germany, 1960s and 1970s Detroit, and modern-day Berlin, this is a story about a girl whose dreams reveal the future, a family beset by ghosts, and the place that haunts them all. A bittersweet confection, this novel combines all the ingredients of great storytelling into a family saga redolent of the Old World, layered with consequence and frosted with Technicolor.
So come along as we delve into the doings of Elsa Z. and discover what befell the Apfels in Berlin. Along the way, we’ll visit lemurs and explore our longings, indulge in Black Forest cake and blue stationery. We’ll go to the movies, sip our drinks by the pool, take a train ride, interpret our dreams, tell jokes, and forget about the time. And when we return, nothing will be the same.
Norah Labiner is the author of two highly acclaimed novels: Miniatures, an American Library Association Notable Book, and Our Sometime Sister, a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. She lives in Minneapolis.