Abandoned as an infant on the local veterinarian's front porch, Pepper Rafferty was raised by two loving mothers, and now, at thirty-six is married to the stable, supportive Ike. She's never told anyone that at fifteen she discovered the identity of her biological mother, a reclusive painter famous for the outrageous claims that her portraits summon their subjects' doppelgängers from parallel universes. Researching the rumors, Pepper couldn't help but wonder: Is there a parallel universe in which she is more confident, more accomplished, better able to accept love?
Beautiful ... Pokwatka’s voices are tantalizing and elusive. Most affecting are Pepper and Ike’s text exchanges as Pepper travels farther and farther away from home: tender and funny and sad, rippling with the subtle inflections and repetitions developed between intimate partners that are very difficult to represent convincingly. They’re a kind of poetry anchored at the heart of the book while Pepper journeys toward Ula in pursuit of something she can’t quite name, trying to translate the reality of Ula into something she can finally comprehend.