Named an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, one of Book Riot’s 5 to Watch, and an iBookstore Editor’s Choice, this acclaimed novel is now in paperback.
“Mesmerizing . . . At once sorrowful, intimate, and optimistic . . . Backhaus’ novel is courageous and spare, an enthralling success.”
—Booklist, starred review
“[A] strange and tender debut novel . . . His writing, which is as clear and direct as flowing water, convincingly portrays the deepening connection between Thomas and Megumi."
—The Wall Street Journal
“This is one remarkable debut."
“Written deeply, cleanly, sparely and gently, like fingers playing over the strings of a harp."
—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
—The New York Post
“Jeff Backhaus’s intimate and moving portrait of a man hiding away from the world will wholly suck you in. The relationship that unfolds between Thomas and Megumi is extraordinary, rendered with quiet beauty, anger, and a deep sensuality. It’s nearly impossible to believe that this heartbreaking novel is a debut."
—Mia Lipman (Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2013)
“[a] quiet but poignant exploration of loneliness and self-discovery...The chapters alternate perspectives, with poetic observations about the world from the view of an outsider - the outsider in a marriage, the outsider in a relationship, and Thomas, who feels like an outsider in his own life. In the end, Thomas must choose between his naked, honest relationship with Megumi, and his once comfortable life with his loyal wife. And the reader must accept his decision, regardless of the heartbreak it leaves in its wake.”
—USA TODAY (3.5 out of 4 stars)
“Told in a simple cadence that's almost poetic in its plainness, this elegant novel doesn't take long to read but leaves indelible impressions in its wake."
—iBookstore (Editors' Choice)
“Listen to the music of this novel. It is the sound of genius.”
—Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife