Book Buzz: This Magnificent Dappled Sea by David Biro

“On a deeper level, it’s an important novel with a beautiful beating heart. It’s the kind of book the world desperately needs right now.” Julianne MacLean

Two strangers—generations and oceans apart—have a chance to save each other in this moving and suspenseful novel about family secrets and the ineffable connections that lead us to one another.

In a small Northern Italian village, nine-year-old Luca Taviano catches a stubborn cold and is subsequently diagnosed with leukemia. His only hope for survival is a bone marrow transplant. After an exhaustive search, a match turns up three thousand miles away in the form of a most unlikely donor: Joseph Neiman, a rabbi in Brooklyn, New York, who is suffering from a debilitating crisis of faith. As Luca’s young nurse, Nina Vocelli, risks her career and races against time to help save the spirited redheaded boy, she uncovers terrible secrets from World War II—secrets that reveal how a Catholic child could have Jewish genes.

Can accidents of love transcend inheritance? That is the question at the heart of This Magnificent Dappled Sea, a novel that challenges the idea of identity and celebrates the ties that bind us together.

“David Biro’s fine novel is a page-turner of old secrets, new medicine and unexpected connections, in which lives in New York become entwined with lives in a small town in northern Italy. Most of all, it’s a novel of rich humanity.”
Matthew Kneale, Booker Prize shortlisted author of English Passengers

This Magnificent Dappled Sea by David Biro

269 Pages

ISBN 9781542019811

David Biro graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia Medical School, and Oxford University. He teaches at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and practices dermatology in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He is the author of One Hundred Days: My Journey from Doctor to Patient and The Language of Pain: Finding Words, Compassion, and Relief. He has also been published in the New York Times, Slate, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and various medical journals. David lives in New York City with his wife and twin boys. For more information, visit