Benjamin Ziskind steals a Chagall painting from the NY Jewish Art Gallery because his family used to own it.
The novel has many strands – Benjamin’s grandfather who was given the painting as a boy in a USSR orphanage; Benjamin’s parents – his father a Vietnam veteran and his mother a children’s book illustrator who takes Yiddish stories and folklore and brings them to life again; Benjamin’s twin sister, Sara, who forges a copy of the Chagall; Benjamin’s potential lover, Erica, curator at the gallery, who is trying to find the thief. And then finally, bringing the strands together, Benjamin’s unborn nephew, Daniel, who in the final chapter is shown through the ‘world to come’, the world he is entering, by angels who are his dead ancestors.
The two novels it reminds me of most are The Book Thief and Nicole Krauss’s History of Love. I wonder if Krauss and Horn are friends or rivals, being two Jewish women writers in New York with two years between them and both writing magic realism that concerns family and text