This epic, deeply moving novel about displacement will haunt any reader fortunate enough to discover it. Movingly recounting, through three interrelated episodes, the redeeming magnitude of love in even the most horrific circumstances, it is, quite simply, Ayelet Waldman’s best work to date.
The novel revolves around a gold-filigreed pendant bearing “the image, in vitreous enamel, of a peacock, a perfect gemstone staring from the tip of each painted feather.” It is actually a locket containing a tiny, sepia-toned photograph of two women - one a dwarf - at a 1913 suffrage congress.
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Steven Whitton is a professor of English at Jacksonville State University.