From the bestselling author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli, a love story full of secrets and astonishments set in fifties San Francisco
I face a challenge here: how to discuss a story that relies for its considerable drama on a series of startling revelations essential to its artistry. In Andrew Sean Greer's novel, the clues planted along the way are subtle enough that even a careful reader is likely to be caught off guard. Count me among the surprised, several times over. The opening line of the book is a seemingly shopworn sentiment: "We think we know the ones we love." That Pearlie Cook, the speaker of this line and the narrator of the novel, will turn out not to have truly known her husband is plain from the first page. The extent of her misapprehensions and their effect on the relationship form the basis of the novel's carefully cultivated suspense.