Short-listed for the 2007 ReLit Award
The newest Dr. Rebecca Temple book is set alternately in 1979 Toronto and 1930s Berlin. In Toronto, Rebecca follows a trail that begins when Birdie, the schizophrenic homeless woman she is trying to help, is killed. From the German fencing instructor in whose backyard Birdie lived to the Egyptian physician in town to talk up the new drug he is developing from snake venom, nobody is who they appear to be. Strangely, the two men seem to know each other, although neither will say how.
Alternating chapters follow a Jewish family, the Eisenbaums, during the Nazi rise to power and the gradual stripping away of the rights of Jews in Germany. The youngest child, Frederika, becomes a doctor against all odds. But as the Nazi grip tightens, she loses the right to practice and is finally sent to a concentration camp. Rebecca's and Frederika's stories connect in the startling conclusion.