More Than One Life is a chronicle of several generations of an upper-middle-class Czech family, told from the point of view of a woman who reached adulthood in the 1930s. Beginning in the years preceding World War II, the story concentrates on the narrator’s tragically mismatched parents, and the children’s attempts to come to terms with each of them. The father achieved success in life by conventional criteria: he is the husband of an attractive, intelligent woman; he is a successful manufacturer; he has sired four fine children. But he is a man rooted in the conventions of his time, held hostage by social constraints. Unable to understand his sensitive wife, he feels rejected and misunderstood, and takes his frustrations out on his children. As the narrator probes her past, she is forced to analyze her own half-buried memories and feelings. As she tries to reconstruct childhood events, she comes to view her entire family in a new way. Ultimately, she finds that each individual revelation makes the dark burden of the past easier to bear.