Everyone deserves a great love story. But for seventeen-year old Simon Spier it’s a little more complicated: he’s yet to tell his family or friends he’s gay and he doesn’t actually know the identity of the anonymous classmate he’s fallen for online.
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Passengers on a ship traveling from Mexico to Europe in the 1930s represent society at large in that era. The crew is German, including the ship’s Dr. Schumann, who falls in love with one of the passengers, La Condesa. A young American woman, Jenny, is traveling with the man she loves, David. Jenny is fascinated and puzzled by just who some of the other passengers are.
When Michael McCann is thrown over by the woman he loves, he becomes something of a misanthrope and a miser, spending all of his spare money on collectible gold coins. Living in the same town is an affluent family with two sons: John and Tanny. Tanny’s a wild boy, whom John cannot control, and one night he breaks into McCann’s house, and steals the gold and disappears, which nearly confirms McCann’s distrust of mankind. But then, a mysterious young woman dies in the snow outside McCann’s house, and her small daughter makes her way to McCann’s house and into McCann’s life and heart. He names her Matilda, and raises her, finding companionship and a new joy in life with his adopted daughter. But the secret of Matilda’s birth may tear them apart.