This beautiful story, as richly told by author Kirkpatrick, was unlike anything I'd ever read. The story begins in 1917, when Yousep Kogen, a shop boy who works for Menashe "Papa" Reisman, falls in love with a frail young Dutch girl, Caraliza, who is being held captive across the street by a brute who routinely abuses her. The author realistically and stunningly describes Yousep's quick assimilation into manhood and the frail Caraliza's intense need for love.
After tragic events make their mark on the year 1919, the story resumes in present day, when Papa Reisman's granddaughter, Shelly, is desperately trying to uncover the past, in the same building where the tragedies occurred. Kirkpatrick's delicate storytelling and descriptions of present-day hauntings are captivating; his characterizations are clear and believable.
I have often read books of this nature only to be disappointed by the ending, but that was not so with Caraliza. I won't give it away, but the satisfying ending only enriched my enjoyment of this tender, often funny, sad, and very real story.