Mort Zachter's childhood revolved around a small, struggling shop on Manhattan's Lower East Side that sold bread and pastries. His was a classic story—a close-knit, hard-working family struggling to make it in America.
Only they were rich. Very rich.
At age thirty-six, after struggling to work his way though night school, Zachter discovered that his bachelor uncles, who ran the shop, had amassed millions of dollars in stocks and bonds. As he starts to clean out their apartment, Zachter discovers clues to their hidden lives that raise more questions than they answer. And in the end, he comes to realize that although he may not understand his family—and maybe never will—forgiveness and acceptance are what matter most.
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Mort Zachter is currently working on a book about baseball legend Gil Hodges. Before he became a full-time writer, he had careers in law and accounting. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.From Publishers Weekly:
After losing his job as an accountant, enrolling in night law school and taking out a second mortgage to support his family, Zachter answered the phone in 1994 and was asked by a banker if he would like to take control of his uncle Harry's seven-figure money market account. What he at first assumed was a practical joke turned out to be true—Harry had been living like a pauper in a housing project while running a day-old bread store on New York's Lower East Side for 60 years. Zachter's memoir alternates between his imaginings of daily life at the bakery from the 1940s through the '60s and his unearthing of his family's financial secrets in the 1990s. Upon stumbling on a stockpile of crumbling two-dollar bills stashed away in Harry's fruitcake boxes, a relative jokes that Zachter really is from old money. In seeking to reconcile decades of financial stress with his sudden inheritance, Zachter notes, Multiple lifetimes of nothing but hard work and deprivation had amassed this fortune. But what good had it done? The answer, he decides after realizing that he will never have to worry about paying the bills, is in the gift of time to write this book. This rich story pays off with honest but lighthearted discoveries about loyalty and wealth. (Sept.)
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