As Guy Zambri nears the age of forty, he finds himself disappointed with both his personal life as a gay man in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., and his job as an Associate Professor of Art History at George Washington University-where his failure to produce a book has prevented him from being promoted to Full Professor.
While preparing to take a sabbatical leave to work on a book which deals with male nude photography, he learns that the beloved grandfather who raised him was born in Taormina, Sicily - the town where Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden, a pioneer in male nude photography, lived and worked. Thus, Guy decides to spend two months of his sabbatical leave in Taormina, researching his family history and working on his book. Shortly after his arrival, he meets a distant cousin, Luca Zambri, who eventually reveals important family secrets to Guy, as well as secrets about the community-at-large. This information changes Guy's life forever, when he returns to the United States and a Post-9/11 society.