Marina and her husband, Jacob were each born on a kibbutz in Israel. They meet years later at a university in California when Jacob is a successful psychiatrist with a young son, Ben, from a disastrous marriage. The family moves to a brownstone in Harlem, formerly a convent inhabited by elderly nuns.
Outside the house one day Marina encounters Constance, a young refugee from Rwanda, and her toddler, Gabriel. Unmoored and devastated, Constance and Gabriel quickly come to depend on Marina; and her bond with the little bot intensifies. The pure, blinding love that it is possible to feel for children not our own is the thread that weaves through The Children’s House.