Combining the page-turning momentum of a psychological thriller with the finely observed, nuanced portrayal of a domestic drama, playwright and filmmaker Cai Emmons has written an extraordinarily assured first novel that belongs on the shelf beside Sue Miller and Jane Hamilton.
Jana Thomas has built a successful life with a loving husband, a darling six-year-old son, Evan, and a rewarding position as an emergency-room doctor. She has always been a nervous, hypervigilant parent, but Evan’s seemingly normal all-boy tendencies are escalating her worry into something close to hysteria, threatening her job, her marriage, and her motherhood. The real source of Jana's disintegration is a past she has kept buried for sixteen years.
She once had another name, and a younger brother, Varney, to whom Jana was more than a big sister--mother, best friend, interpreter of the world all rolled into one. When Varney violently blew everything apart, Jana ran and never looked back. Until now, when she spots a speck of Varney’s rage in Evan, and the past begins to bleed into the present, gradually overwhelming it. Finally, Jana is forced to plunge into the emotional whirlpool she left behind. The results are shattering, profound, and wrenchingly moving.
About Cai Emmons
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Published January 7, 2003
by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction.