Set in the wild, seamy and extremely strange America of the nineteenth century: a historical novel so richly involving and so touching that you never want it to end.
Young Ren is missing his parents and a hand and doesn't know what happened to any of them. So he is beginning to fear that he will never be claimed from his cold New England orphanage: that his dream of a family - of a life - will come to nothing.
But one day a glamorous stranger arrives at the orphanage. To Ren's astonishment, the charming Benjamin Nab says he is his brother, come to bring him home. And even when his stories grow more and more extraordinary, when he puts Ren's life in danger again and again and sets him first to theft and then to grave-robbing, Ren cannot quite abandon hope. That one day all the hunger and danger and unwanted excitement will be worth it, that he will find a family. But whether Benjamin is to be trusted is another story...
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