When Moran, Ruyu, and Boyang were young, they were involved in a
mysterious “accident” in which a friend of theirs was poisoned. Grown
up, the three friends are separated by distance and personal
estrangement. Moran and Ruyu live in the United States, Boyang in China;
all three are haunted by what really happened in their youth, and by
doubt about themselves. In California, Ruyu helps a local woman care for
her family and home, and avoids entanglements, as she has done all her
life. In Wisconsin, Moran visits her ex-husband, whose kindness once
overcame her flight into solitude. In Beijing, Boyang struggles to deal
with an inability to love, and with the outcome of what happened among
the three friends twenty years ago.
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Brilliantly written, a breathtaking page-turner, Kinder Than Solitude resonates
with provocative observations about human nature and life. In
mesmerizing prose, and with profound insight, Yiyun Li unfolds this
remarkable story, even as she explores the impact of personality and the
past on the shape of a person’s present and future.