In eighteenth-century Paris, Jacob is a peddler of knives, salt cellars and snuffboxes. Despite a disastrous teenage marriage, Jacob is determined to raise himself up in life, by whatever means he can. In twenty-first-century America, Jacob's life has twisted in ways he could never have imagined. But even the tiniest of flies can influence the turning of the world. Reliable, true Leslie Senzatimore, a volunteer fireman, and Masha, a gravely ill young woman, are about to have their lives transformed. Through her wonderfully memorable protagonist, Rebecca Miller considers the hold of the past on the present, the power of private hopes and dreams, and the collision of fate and free will. In "Jacob's Folly", Miller's world - which is our own, transfigured by her clear gaze and by her sharp, surprising wit - comes brilliantly to life.