Germany 1912 and seventeen-year old Ilse Ehrenkrantz longs for a story that is different from her middle class traditional Jewish life. Fascinated by her artistic explorations of Catholic symbols, Ilse immerses herself in a world outside her family. This decision propels her into a relationship with her cousin, Georg, a spirited story teller and passionate coin collector, who abandons Judaism for a Prussian military career. Ilse’s choices set in motion a series of consequences that divide her family.
Rich with details of the era, this subtle novel—part family saga, part love story—raises questions about Jewish identity, spirituality and desire. At the center are the valuable and mesmerizing coins that will draw Ilse to become The Numismatist’s Wife.