In this impressionistic, rose-and honey-toned memory piece, young Jacob hides from the Nazis in 1941 Poland but his parents are killed and his sister is captured. The terrified boy is discovered by a Greek archaeologist, who takes him in and becomes a gentle, devoted surrogate father. Over the years, Jacob (played as an adult by Stephen Dillane) tries to make sense of his past and his present.
He becomes a writer and marries the warm-hearted Alex (Rosamund Pike). But he continues to carry the ghosts of his past and she realizes that limits his ability to be close to her. â€œTo live with ghosts requires solitude,â€ she tells him.
Jacob will have to endure additional losses to put his past in context and to find a way to make a deeper, more trusting connection. While it does not have the lyricism of the book’s limpid prose, it is a moving story, gently and sincerely told.