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Martin, a journalist, has fallen under the spell of the Café Scheherazade and its Jewish refugee clientele and is writing a book about them, haunting the back room where an inner circle congregates.
Martin is anxious to finish the work, but the others do not fully trust him—the outsider—and he senses that there is a great deal more behind their light-hearted quarrelling that he can’t get at.
The characters tell fragments of their stories, each overlapping the other. The musicians weave in and out of the tapestry. The timelines of their lives begin pre-war and wind their way through the arctic, the gulags, the escapes, and the epic journeys that led them to this café on the other side of the world.
Martin’s book is finally published, but under the celebration is shot through with doubt: Who will listen? Did they tell the truth? Do their stories matter? Is death their end?
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