|Pages/Publication Date:||320 / 2014|
This novel from the author of The Emperor's Children and the PEN/Faulkner Award finalists When the World Was Steady and The Hunters is a distaff "Howl," releasing the pent-up rage of a middle-aged woman who has been a "good girl" all of her life. Nora Eldridge long ago compromised her dream to be a brilliant artist, mother, and lover, and has instead become the "woman upstairs," a reliable friend and neighbor always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom come Reza Shahid, as enchanting as an elfin child, and his cosmopolitan parents Skandar, a dashing Lebanese professor, and Sirena, an effortlessly alluring Italian artist. Drawn towards the Shahids, Nora finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together—and is met with a devastating betrayal.