Lucy MacAlphin Trelaine, about to turn 30, raised in orphanages and foster homes, has had and lost many jobs since flunking out of Harvard, but those failures take second place to her stubborn, unsuccessful attempt to find her roots. That search is suddenly reinvigorated by the legacy of a Celtic brooch, found on a shawl wrapped around the infant Lucy in the aftermath of a car crash outside Boston and stolen by a hospital worker. The trail now leads to New York, where Lucy's new job is with Tak Wing, the elderly, endearing owner of a string of fast-service funeral parlors. When events point Lucy toward Scotland, it's Wing who insists she fly to the tiny island of Lis, where the trail ends in a many-layered series of discoveries, a narrow escape from death, and a final pilgrimage to new beginnings back in the New World. Crammed with incident, narrated in lively conversational style: a first novel that blends elements of gothic romance with vivid characters and the contemporary scene into a dazzling story- -bizarre, believable, and riveting to the end.