Saturday, May 4, 2013

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences–in acclaimed author Dan Chaon’s gripping, brilliantly written new novel.

Longing to get on with his life, Miles Cheshire nevertheless can’t stop searching for his troubled twin brother, Hayden, who has been missing for ten years. Hayden has covered his tracks skillfully, moving stealthily from place to place, managing along the way to hold down various jobs and seem, to the people he meets, entirely normal. But some version of the truth is always concealed.

A few days after graduating from high school, Lucy Lattimore sneaks away from the small town of Pompey, Ohio, with her charismatic former history teacher. They arrive in Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, at a long-deserted motel next to a dried-up reservoir, to figure out the next move on their path to a new life. But soon Lucy begins to feel quietly uneasy.

My whole life is a lie, thinks Ryan Schuyler, who has recently learned some shocking news. In response, he walks off the Northwestern University campus, hops on a bus, and breaks loose from his existence, which suddenly seems abstract and tenuous. Presumed dead, Ryan decides to remake himself–through unconventional and precarious means.

My take: 3 looks

This book was given to me with the comment "This book was disturbingly weird". No other recommendation would entice me to drop everything the read it! haha

Very nicely written. There are crossroads, turns, twists, and intersections in the story that are well done and not confusing in the least. As I read the stories of these three people, I tucked little items away in my mind until they started to swirl and come together, untangling in the most intriguing way.

The stories go back and forth between characters, and back and forth in time. The reader doesn't really see the path of the three until the end of the book, when the last piece is in place, you put the book down, step back and see the big picture. It was very different from anything else I have read lately, and I will definitely read more by this author.


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