Katherine Murphy, a pediatric surgeon in San Francisco's premier medical center, UCSF, was raised in the ironic protection of her father's Irish pub by a patchwork family formed of misfits and orphans. She is book-brilliant, but unwise in the ways of love and life. When genuine love and deep passion present themselves in the form of Jake Bloom, a renowned "artist of the immediate", she is in far too deep before she discovers the treacherous dark side of his creative genius.
"A very artful novel"
Since the death of her parents in a car accident, Vanessa's relationship with her grandmother splintered into a cantankerous silence. Along with her two kids - Maeve, a spunky 10-year-old, and Brodie, an inquisitive 7-year-old - Vanessa visits her Grammy Francis to interview her about the family history. Inside a secret passage in her 140-year-old home, Maeve and Brodie discover an old ship captain's box, and inside they find a handwritten manuscript bound with a deerskin map.