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Newly weds on the roller coaster of love, Ted Hlavacek and his wife, Mona, are spending Christmas 1975 with his family near Boston. When a cousin unexpectedly arrives from Communist Czechoslovakia, she brings Ted disturbing news.

Ted was six when he left Prague in 1939 with his mother and his two brothers, a hairsbreadth ahead of the German army. Vera Hlavacek's mother was Jewish, so even her sons were not safe. Her brother in Jamaica Plain had offered refuge, and Ted grew up American and Catholic.

But now, with this news from cousin Tyla, Ted will return to Czechoslovakia, fortified by Mona's fierce, protective intuition. Tyla surely was misinformed, and in Prague they can lay that story to rest. They haven't had a honeymoon, Mona wants to better understand Ted's childhood, and Ted, tantalized but uneasy about a return to conflicting memories, accepts a temporary assignment to American embassies throughout Eastern Europe.

They fly into Czechoslovakia one morning in May and are welcomed by what remains of Ted's family. The days ahead promise wonders and adventure. But there's a secret Ted has kept from Mona, and a darker one that awaits them both. Adventure becomes nightmare and wondrous Prague a haunted town.

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