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This is the story of two men who first become friends in 1970s New York, of the women in their lives, and of their sons, born the same year. Both Leo Hertzberg, an art historian, and Bill Weschler, a painter, are cultured, decent men, but neither is equipped to deal with what happens to their children – Leo’s son drowns when he’s 12, while Bill’s son Mark grows up to be a delinquent, and the acolyte of a sinister, guru-like artist who spawns murder in his wake. Spanning the hedonism of the eighties and the chill-out nineties, this multi-layered novel combines a plot of mounting menace with a deeply moving account of familial relationships and a superbly observed portrait of an artist, set against the backdrop of a society reaching new depths of depravity in its frenetic quest for the next fashion, drug and thrill.

Reviews

Breathtaking
James Urquhart, <i> Independent </i>
A love story with the grip and suspense of a thriller. It makes you ponder human existence with a peculiar mixture of stoicism and wonder.
Noonie Minogue, <i> Times Literary Supplement </i>
Defiantly complex and frequently dazzling ... she has created a conceptually exciting work that demands we think, but which still allows us room to feel.
Alex Clark, <i> Sunday Times </i>
Substantial, moving and beautifully written
Christian House, <i> Independent on Sunday </i>
A big, wide, sensuous novel - clever, sinister, yet attractively real
Julie Myerson, <i> Guardian </i>
A consummately intelligent novel, highly literate but also intensely moving.
Jackie McGlone, <i> Scotsman </i>
Riveting ... erudite and immensely detailed ... a rich, densely textured and utterly absorbing novel
Lesley Glaister
Subtle, compassionate, wise, and supremely intelligent, it's a striking achievement.
Kieron Corless, <i> Time Out </i>
Hustvedt ranks amongst the finest American writers working today
Jennifer O'Connell, <i> Sunday Business Post </i>
A powerful novel of love, loss and longing, exquisitely written
Anne Donovan, <i> Sunday Herald </i>