This book is a set of separate stories about four different families whose lives touch because of a large desk. It seems far-fetched, but with the imagination of Nicole Krauss, it meshes. Although I had some difficulty getting into the book, I soon became enthralled with the stories and had difficulty putting the book down.The language in the book is mostly enchanting. However, one paragraph could sometimes run more than one page. The author did not use quotation marks to indicate spoken words or separate the quotes into separate paragraphs. This occasionally caused confusion as to whom was speaking. It was for this reason only that the book did not get 5 stars. I don't understand this trend to violate rules of grammar. It detracts from the story.I especially related to the pain of a father trying to understand his son. I easily related since I have a son with Aspergers, which makes it difficult to understand his thoughts, motives and actions.Overall, highly recommended.