Peter Sonderling attempts suicide with a loaded Luger to his own temple in the Michigan darkness. He thinks he knows who will die, but first he must ricochet off his mother Claudia's death camp past to finally understand himself. His suicidal thoughts question his wife Doreen's fidelity and his children's paternity, yet his sights should aim at Claudia for answers. The loaded chamber of her memory fires a forty-year-old secret into Peter's notion of Father. At Dachau's concentration camp an SS doctor trades chocolates for Claudia's body. He tortures her future husband, Isaac, who stands naked and wet against the wind of a German winter and somehow thaws into the only father Peter ever loves. Peter must learn to accept the evil inside him and embrace the good that surrounds him. Only then will three lessons work to set him free: Isaac's love is stronger than biology, faces write the best poetry, and fairy tales protect his truth.