A novella in two parts, Leaving Natalie spans thirty years and two continents. Natalie and Richard, expatriate Americans whose lives intersect briefly in Münster, Germany, in 1988, are each at a crossroads. He is floating aimlessly through life; she is committed to marrying a man who is drifting away from her. In the medieval city that is an unreal postwar recreation of itself, they are fleetingly brought to the edge of emotional fulfillment by one night, an archbishop’s death mask and an ancient Roman artifact—until reality intervenes. Nearly three decades later they find each other again in an America they no longer recognize and are overtaken by events no one can control.
Michael Califra, author