Dr. Sarah Halifax decoded the first-ever radio transmission received from aliens. Thirty-eight years later, a second message is received and Sarah, now eighty-seven, may hold the key to deciphering this one, too, if she lives long enough. A wealthy industrialist offers to pay for Sarah to have a rollback a hugely expensive experimental rejuvenation procedure. She accepts on condition that Don, her husband of sixty years, gets a rollback, too. The process works for Don, making him physically twenty-five again. But in a tragic twist, the rollback fails for Sarah, leaving her in her eighties as the second message arrives. While Don tries to deal with his newfound youth and the suddenly vast age gap between him and his wife, Sarah struggles to do again what she'd done once before: figure out what a signal from the stars contain.
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"Starred Review. By its nature, a story about moral choices tends to get talky, but the talk is intelligent and performed by sympathetic and believable people." - PW.
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Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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