What, you didn't read? A shonde.
This was a truly enjoyable book on so many levels: noir, alternate history, crazy klezmer riff on the Jewish experience. Did I mention it's funny? The central conceit is that instead of Israel, the Jews found/were loaned a homeland in Alaska--for 60 years. But now Sitka is about to Revert to the United States, and its yiddishkeit society to be scattered again. Against this background, Chabon sets a compelling murder mystery.
Chabon demonstrated his interest in these themes in his essay Say It In Yiddish which appeared about six years ago. Check it out..