A novel in threeparts focusing on three women in the same family over the course of a century. It is the middle story, concerning Natasha Crystal, that is most strongly connected to mathematics. Natasha is incredibly talented at mathematics and wishes to be a mathematician. However, there are obstacles to her obtaining that goal in the Soviet Union, namely the "Jewish Problems". Recognizing her ethnicity from her surname, the examiners at the university give her one additional deceptively difficult problem to solve after she successfully answers the first five she was given. This injustice that prevents her from achieving her dream of course has a tremendous impact on her entire life. A few references to mathematics, only some of which have to do directly with Natasha, also appear in the part of the book concerning her American granddaughter, Zoe.
