When an early-retired Canadian executive decides to research his roots in Italy he has no idea of what he would be getting into. Following a divorce from a childless marriage he is left alone, without a family and with nothing to look forward to. On his first trip to his ancestral town in central Italy, he hopes to get to know and establish a solid rapport with his blood relatives, and thereby find inspiration for a new life. What he finds instead is much more that what he bargained for. A family secret about his grandfather turns him into an unwilling investigator, engaged in researching much more than his lineage. In his quest to find the missing pieces of a tragic story, he discovers feelings he did not know he had. From the cold, calculating and materialistic man he used to be, he slowly turns into a romantic, compassionate and emotional human being, touched by the warmth and affection of his blood relatives, and by the history and artistic masterpieces he discovers along the way.
A married woman he meets on his initial flight to Rome evokes emotions he never had before, while the spontaneous love from a younger woman he later meets in his ancestral town becomes the object of his ‘delayed’ affection. Through them he experiences a doomed sentimental journey inspired by passion and a prolific love affair inspired by a strong desire to father a child and start a family. As a result, he is emotionally torn by three competing forces – a forbidden passion he is unable to control, a wholesome and desirable relationship that can give him a new family, and a decades-old family secret that consumes his soul.
The story takes place between August 2000 and July 2002 and lives through the tragic events of September 11 in New York. It is filled with historic data and describes a few of the most enchanting towns of Abruzzo, in central Italy. It also touches upon deep reflections about life in its historic and societal facets. The story is as realistic as its characters are alive and typical of the ambient in which they live. In the end, fate plays a role in determining his destiny, as he is left with no other option than to accept the consequences of his final choice.