Choosing to marry an American GI and accompany him home to Cold Creek, Ohio, after World War II, Vala Hess manages to escape her past and provide shelter and protection for her two young sons, Emo and Milo. But her tormented, traumatized past doesn’t let go.
Told from the point of view of her older, more sensitive son, “Vala’s Bed” explores the emotions and ramifications of growing up as a German in post World War II America. As an American, Emo espouses American ideals while remembering fragments and dreams of a darker past. As he approaches manhood, he is forced to ponder what that means for him. Who is his natural father? Why is his mother so reticent? Who are the strangers who come knocking—or breaking in? What secrets are hidden among the documents, letters, and photographs in his mother’s closet? His search leads Emo to a shocking discovery that could change everything he knows about his grandparents, his mother, his sibling…and himself.