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Olsson (Astrid and Veronika) explores the hard-won wisdom that can come through grief. When classical musician Adam Anker (né Lipski) stumbles upon a WWII exhibit at a museum in New Zealand and sees his birth name attached to an elderly woman's plea for information, he decides to search for his long-buried past as a way to lend clarity to his daughter Miriam's future. But later that day, Miriam is killed in an accident, and Adam spends the next year in mourning before contacting the woman, Clara Fried, and beginning a journey that spans three continents and four decades. Along the way, Adam returns to his native Poland after 20 years in New Zealand, discovers a family secret and, through letters and old friends, begins to know his parents as people. He also finds the strength to patch up his relationship with Miriam's mother, Cecilia, who narrates the final part of the book in second-person. Olsson's dense, magisterial prose pulls the reader in immediately, and Adam's profound sadness is perfectly handled-it's palpable, but never saccharine or overbearing as the narrative builds toward its unexpected conclusion. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.