It is difficult to say more without ruining the book. But not much else needs to be said. This is a delightful, poignant tale of how we are shaped by the world we know and how we are buffeted by forces beyond our control. But it is also a celebration of our capacity to love and to survive. When I finished A Whole Life I had to double check it was a novel, and not a very clever biography. That perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay it. Read it.