In a small Italian village, nine-year-old Luca Taviano catches a stubborn cold and is subsequently diagnosed with leukemia. After an exhaustive search, a match turns up 3,000 miles away in the form of an unlikely donor: Joseph Neiman, a rabbi in Brooklyn, New York, who is suffering from a debilitating crisis of faith. As Luca's young nurse risks her career and races against time to help save the spirited redheaded boy, she uncovers terrible secrets from World War II—secrets that reveal how a Catholic boy could have Jewish genes. Can inheritance be transcended by accidents of love? That is the question at the heart of This Magnificent Dappled Sea, a novel that challenges the idea of identity and celebrates the ties that bind us together.
David Biro has a medical degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in Literature from Oxford University. He is a Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center where he also teaches medical humanities. He has written two highly acclaimed books: One Hundred Days: My Unexpected Journey from Doctor to Patient (2000) and The Language of Pain: Finding Words, Compassion and Relief (2010).