The year 1952 begins badly in Cairo. A mob burns every building in the city-dooming the future of the degenerate king and every foreigner and Jew. Youssef Cohen's father sends Youssef, his mother Odette, and his sister to Europe, where he hopes they will be safe; he has no idea that just a few months later, his wife will be dead and Youssef and his sister will be without a mother. In this fictionalized memoir, loosely based on true events, Youssef Cohen shares a poignant story told through the eyes of a man who lost his mother as a child and, forty years later, is still haunted by the memories. He embarks on a quest to learn more about his mother; his search takes him from Manhattan to Venice to Sao Paolo and finally to Cairo. In a narrative stitched together with letters, photographs, and memories of the people he meets along the way, the man creates a fascinating tapestry of his forgotten past. But before the man reaches his mother's grave at a Jewish cemetery in Bassatine, he must understand his own identity in order to heal from the loss he suffered so many years ago.