A boy named Jakob is discovered hiding in the mud of an archaeological site in Poland by Athos, a Greek geologist. The child's family had been massacred by the Nazis. The novel follows the pair to Greece, then Toronto. Athos' rescue of Jakob, that one gesture, affects countless lives. To me the book is about the courage it takes to be generous. It's about manifesting your compassion, and how that requires actual bravery.
— Mary-Louise Parker