For me this story of a torn, forbidden love felt elemental from the very beginning, providing not just the backdrop of this novel—but also a catalyst for much of what happens in Eva and Aleandro’s lives spanning fifty years. Not only did it allow me to channel in an emotionally resonant way the fate of the Romani during WWII when as much as a quarter of their population perished at the hands of the Nazis, but to explore the complications triggered by a love that could not blossom in the societal context of the time. In fact, it was precisely their painful parting, caused by circumstances they could not control, which introduced the larger questions at the heart of this novel: How does a haunting love endure through decades of war, revolution, and occupation? What do Eva and Aleandro discover in the spaces which separate them and how do they evolve as individuals after profound loss? How does one quell the pull of memory, or the deep yearning to find a way home, when survival itself demands reinvention? The emotional bond between Eva and Aleandro is the unbroken line that connects them across time and continents and hardship—playing as much of a part in their journey as the historical events shaping them.