The magical tale of a family during anti-Jewish persecution in 19th century Eastern Europe, for readers of The Bear and the Nightingale and The Golem and the Jinni.
The pogroms have arrived. Laya and Liba’s parents must ride to the aid of their beleaguered kinsmen, leaving the two sisters to fend for themselves in their house in the woods. Before their departure, Liba discovers their parents’ deepest secret: their Tati can transform into a bear, and their Mami into a swan. Perhaps, Liba realizes, the old fairy tales are true.
But the sisters are not alone in the forests outside Dubossary. A troupe of mysterious strangers arrive and despite all of their mother’s warnings, Laya falls under their spell. Peculiar changes are happening to Liba, too: fingernails and teeth that grow uncontrollably, and an insatiable hunger that hounds her day and night. And these are not the only dangers in the woods…
In the end, Laya and Liba have only each other: the girls they were, and the women they must become, in order to save their people — and themselves.