In her last days, Sofia Fiore remembers a time of radiance and darkness. She lived in the Twenties, when the first Zeppelin flew over Manhattan and when a solar eclipse dazzled the Bronx, N.Y. Drawn to the wondrous, she never stopped seeing extraordinary things.
In the shadows of Depression and war, she reveres her father, the good Dr. Gentile, a naÃ¯ve follower of Mussolini, her mother Livia, whose fading light heralds her death and her anarchist grandparents living on the lower East Side of Manhattan. She witnesses the dramatic escape of her beloved Aunt Julia and Uncle Paul from the flaming Hindenburg â€” only to see them vanish. Many years later, Sofia is stricken by a missing chunk of the past as it smashes through memory. As she's dying, she grapples with a time that began in hope and ended in uncertainty until she comes to terms with her family's legacy of truth, illusion, and wonder.