At the center of Francine Prose's profoundly moving new novel is a young girl facing the consequences of sudden loss after the death of her sister. As her parents drift toward their own risky consolations, thirteen-year-old Nico is left alone to grope toward understanding and clarity, falling into a seductive, dangerous relationship with her sister's enigmatic boyfriend.
Over one haunted summer, Nico must face that life-changing moment when children realize their parents can no longer help them. She learns about the power of art, of time and place, the mystery of loss and recovery. But for all the darkness at the novel's heart, the narrative itself is radiant with the lightness of summer and charged by the restless sexual tension of teenage life.
"Prose eschews her familiar satiric mode. She fluidly maintains Nico's tender insights into the human condition." - Publishers Weekly.
"Starred Review. Though wrapped up a tad too abruptly, this highly accessible novel, lightened with wry humor, is an insightful examination of the various ways people use imagination and memory to cope with devastating loss." - Library Journal.
"Arguably a tad too wistfully meditative, Prose's latest novel nevertheless charms and persuades." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Francine Prose is the author of many bestselling books of fiction, including A Changed Man and Blue Angel, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and the nonfiction New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. Her novel, Household Saints, was adapted for a movie by Nancy Savoca. Another novel, The Glorious Ones, has been adapted into a musical of the same name. Her latest book, Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife was published in 2009. She is the president of PEN American Center. Prose lives in New York City.
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