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PROLOGUE NEW YORK CITY DECEMBER 1933 A light dusting of snow had fallen; the city looked almost pretty. They walked toward the waterfront. Catherine could hear the whisper of a halfhearted Christmas carol from somewhere, the mystical hoot of a foghorn, the soft diffuse sound of music drifting over the river. Her coat had lost all but one of its buttons; she was forced to hold the neck closed with one hand. How did Katarina manage to keep her coat looking so new? she wondered. How did Katarina always manage to traipse around a half foot above the realities of life, floating around, really, so untouchable and stylish and happy? Katarina was talking about a movie she had seen: The Eagle and the Hawk, starring Cary Grant and Carole Lombard. Her green eyes sparkled; her blond hair bounced around her shoulders in time with her steps. She chattered on gaily, without a hint of self-consciousness. Katarina’s English, Catherine found herself thinking, was better than the English of people who had lived here twice as long. Why, she even spoke with less of an accent than Catherine, who had been born in the Bronx. How on earth did Katarina do it? How was it that everything came to her so naturally? Farther uptown, a ship was coming in; the water of the Hudson was alive with a thousand dancing lights. Catherine could see the bustle of activity on the quay, but she couldn’t make out any detail—just a shapeless, undulating mass of humanity. A band was playing on the cruiser’s deck, something brassy and celebratory but small with distance. She shivered. She was cold. She shouldn’t have come out in the first place. It was time to go home. She turned to tell Katarina, but Katarina was gone. After another moment she spotted her friend—moving off down a deserted dock, out over the black water. “Katarina!” she called. “Come on!” Katarina called back.

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