The stunning debut of a writer hailed by Robert Penn Warren as “that very rare thing, the born novelist”
He had lost the thread of his life, and he couldn’t pretend any longer that he hadn’t.
As soon as Thomas Rapidan thinks it, he knows it is true. The question is, what to do about it? John Yount’s slim, potent first novel is the story of a troubled young man deciding whether to live or die.
Tom’s wife, Maggie, knows that he does not love her. She pays his tuition at the North Carolina university they attend together, but he shows no interest in her or in his classes—only in drinking himself into a stupor and reminiscing about his poor West Virginia upbringing and his violent father.
When Tom puts Maggie on a plane home to visit her parents, he is free to indulge his darkest, most cynical desires. He gets drunk, picks a fight in a bar, and edges closer and closer to the abyss. But before he can take the final step, Tom meets a remarkable girl in an unlikely place and discovers that she just might be able to give him the one thing no one else can—forgiveness.