A young soldier named Kenan returns home from World War I as one of the “walking wounded.” His wife, Tress, agonizes about his refusal to talk about the war. As the couple drifts apart, Kenan is befriended by Am, Tress’s uncle.
Am is also one of the “walking wounded,” as is his wife, Maggie, though their sorrows are of a different nature than Kenan’s. They too have embraced silence as a remedy for grief too great to bear.
When Lukas, a mysterious figure from an unknown part of Europe, comes to town and starts a choral society, Maggie joins. Soon she sets in motion a series of events that changes all their lives.
Frances Itani’s thoughtful novel reveals the power and freedom of truth-telling in the context of a loving community and the corrosive nature of secrets, which wear down the human spirit. (HarperCollins Canada)