Tracing the four days from the moment she gets the call that every immigrant fears to the burial of her mother, Elizabeth Nunez tells the haunting story of her lifelong struggle to cope with the consequences of the 'sterner stuff' of her parents' ambitions for their children and her mother's seemingly unbreakable conviction that displays of affection are not for everyday use. But Nunez sympathizes with her parents.
The award-winning author of Prosperos Daughter has written a novel more intimate than her usual big-picture work; this moving exploration of immigrant identity has a protagonist caught between race, class, and a mother's love.
Trinidad-born Justin Peters is a Harvard-educated literature professor, whose focus on the works of "Dead White Men" receives little professional respect at the public Brooklyn college where he teaches. But whatever troubles he might have at work are eclipsed when he realizes his wife, Sally, is no longer certain about their life together.