An unidentified body is discovered in New York City, with numbers and symbols written in blood near the corpse. Ahn Gilmo, a North Korean national who interprets the world through numbers, formulas, and mathematical theories, is arrested on the spot. Previously incarcerated in a Korean political prison because his father was a secret Christian, Gilmo must now use his peculiar gifts to navigate the criminal world as he searches for the only family he has left. Angela, a CIA operative, is assigned to gain his trust and access his unique thought-process.
Follows one woman from her tumultuous childhood through the 1960's sexual revolution and drug culture.
Jimmy Lee Hickam grew up deep in the bowels of Appalachian Ohio, on the poorest road in the poorest county in the poorest region of the state. To make things worse, the name Hickam is synonymous with trouble. Jimmy Lee hails from a mix of thieves, moonshiners, and drunkards who for decades have clung to both the hardscrabble hills and the iron bars of every jail cell in the region. This life, Jimmy Lee believes, is his destiny: working with his drunkard father at the sawmill, or sitting next to his arsonist brother in the penitentiary. If not for an inspiring coach and Jimmy Lees ability to play football, he would not have returned for his junior year in high school. When his visionary English teacher cuts Jimmy Lee a break, preserving his eligibility for the coming football season, he rewards her with a winning essay in the high school writing contest. When irate parents and administration claim he has cheated, his teacher takes Jimmy Lees writing talent as far as it can go, showing him the path out of the hills of Appalachia.
Every bouquet tells a story. And every story begins at Blossom & Grow, a tiny flower shop in the heart of Dublin. Among the buckets of fragrant blooms, beneath the flickering candles and lanterns, Lara works her magic, translating feelings into flower arrangements that change hearts and lives. She is no stranger to the power of flowers herself. They gave her hope when she was a child who lost a mother, and, again when she was a mother who lost a child. But old wounds take time to heal, and life has more heartbreak in store. What will it take for the woman who can unlock everybody else's emotions to open up her own heart?
Luz Hidalgo immigrated to New Orleans with her undocumented father after Hurricane Katrina. Jonah McBee, with hardly any family left, exists on his own. In each other, Jonah and Luz find refuge from the losses that define their lives. When they fall in love, it is intense, addictive, and real. But everything changes when Luz discovers she's pregnant. Her father sends her back to Mexico to raise the baby with her grandmother. Devastated, Jonah sets off on a road trip after her.
When her beauty provokes a lustful revelation from a young priest, sixteen-year-old Teagan is sent to one of Dublin's Magdalen Laundries for fallen women, where she befriends two other girls who help her endure the harsh captivity.
In March 1953, four women meet in Room 408 of Moscow's deluxe Metropole Hotel. They have gathered, not altogether willingly, to reminisce about Vladimir Mayakovsky, the poet who in death had become a national idol of Soviet Russia. In life, however, he was a much more complicated figure. Each of these ladies loved Mayakovsky in the course of his life, and as they piece together their memories of him, a portrait of the artist emerges.
Born with a strange birthmark on her face, Flavia is alienated even from her family. She leaves her sheltered childhood and becomes an ornatrix, a hairdresser and personal maid to a former courtesan. Ghostanza draws her into a world of desire and jealousy lurking behind the wealth and privilege of Perugia. In a society where admiration is everything and perfection is the ultimate, elusive goal, Flavia soon finds beauty in her grasp in the form of the poisonous but stunning white lead cerussa. What lengths will she go to, to leave her marked face behind?
When Patrick Dielman shows up at Detective Jo Larsen's desk insisting that his wife, Jenny, is missing, Jo wonders if it's a case of a bored housewife running away. But as she digs deeper into Jenny's life, Jo learns that Dielman keeps a stranglehold on the family finances, down to the last nickel, and that Jenny's first marriage dissolved following the death of her young son. By all accounts, including her doctor's, she never recovered from the loss. Between a controlling husband, a tragic past, and a callous ex-husband, Jo can't be sure if she should suspect foul play or accept that the woman may have wanted to disappear. For Jo, whose own demons are shadowing her every step, finding Jenny becomes more than the typical protect-and-serve.
Lucas is a fighter in the Polish Resistance Movement during World War II. But when he wakes up in the trenches after a long night of being shelled, he finds his ears bloody and his memory gone. All he has left is a torn photograph of a man and woman and a young boy. Could the child be him? Four days later, on December 20, Lucas is dropped off on the train platform of a bombed-out Polish village. Nothing is familiar, though his buddies assure him that this was his home town. In the middle of death and destruction, Lucas begins the search for his family.