The external lives of Clark, a high school guidance counselor, and Charlotte, a bookkeeper, are utterly ordinary, but their interior lives are as bold and complex as abstract paintings colored by imagined possibilities, childhood joys and, more darkly, by deeply buried fears. When Clark rescues a young boy from drowning, a chain of events-some comic, some harrowing-is set in motion, revealing the fault lines of the couple's marriage and individual psyches. Amity Gaige is a consummate stylist. Her every sentence contains a tiny world-marrying striking images to deep, soulful ideas in perfectly concise fashion.
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This fine, intelligent novel should be required reading for anyone who is (a) in love, (b) engaged, (c) wed, or (d) planning on buying real estate, especially as a concrete expression of (a), (b), or (c). With one scalpel-sharp sentence after another, Amity Gaige has cut a beautifully sad pattern into the skin of that rootless, troubled creature--the modern, secular marriage.
Adam Haslett, author of Union Atlantic, and the New York Times best-selling short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here