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Natalie is propelled through life by pica, a disorder that has her eating a wide variety of inediblesfrom pencil shavings to foam peanuts to plastic doll parts. A lowly staff worker for the local news, she follows the inane demands of the station’s senile weatherman and comes home to an empty apartment, unless of course her father uses the spare key.
But Natalie’s past stalks her at every turn. With her mother recently killed in a tragic house fire, and her runaway brother, Eliot, missing for years, Natalie and her father Boris only have each other. When a cryptic voicemail implicates her mother’s Gypsy roots in her untimely death, Natalie begins to consider the demons that consumed her mother, and drove her brother away. With increasing suspicion, she traces her mother's mysterious family legacy back to the Gypsy neighborhood she left behind.
As a wary Gypsy community tracks her every move, Natalie resolves to confront the dysfunctional and tragic figure at the heart of the mystery: the dead matriarch herself. Smart, elegiac writing, and a page-turning drive, make this a wonderful literary thriller with a hero as intriguing as the mystery.