It is 1945, and London is still reeling from years of war. Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his older sister, Rachel, seemingly abandoned by their parents, have been left in the care of an enigmatic figure they call The Moth. They suspect he may be a criminal and grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women with a shared history, all of whom seem determined now to protect and educate (in rather unusual ways) the siblings. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And how should Nathaniel and Rachel feel when their mother returns without their father after months of silence--explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn't know or understand during that time, and it is this journey--through reality, recollection, and imagi-nation--that is told in this magnificent novel.
- Michael Ondaatje