From the international bestselling author of These Are the Names: “A brilliant exploration of the uneasy transition from adolescence into adulthood” (The Independent).
After a decade away, gifted young pianist Ludwig Unger returns to his hometown of Kings Ness, England, where the houses are on the verge of falling into the sea. With little else but a plastic bag filled with his mother’s ashes, Ludwig hopes to make amends with his lonely past and say goodbye to the familial ghosts that still haunt him.
Ludwig’s mother tried to create a normal life for him after his father abandoned them, but Ludwig grew up in her shadow, developing an obsession with her and her sensual allure. When he discovers her secret past as “the Grace Kelly of porn,” Ludwig’s world spins out of control. He soon finds himself homeless, shouldering the shame of his mother’s career, and embarking on a journey around the world in search of answers about his dysfunctional artistic family and the legacy they left behind.
“Beautifully lyrical storytelling under a banner of gray skies and heavy hearts.” —Dan Kennedy, host of The Moth storytelling podcast and author of Rock On
“Although perfectly charming as picaresque, the tragedy of Unger’s plight registers just as strongly as its understated oddness . . . Wieringa plays for keeps.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“[A] beautifully realized novel about a young man seeking to understand his difficult, eccentric parents.” —Library Journal