In this spectacular debut novel, science and humanity collide like a giant meteor causing incalculable destruction.
The author languidly reveals the lives of two men, living contemporaneously in different countries, each unaware of the significance they will have to each other. Redan, a French neurologist working in research, narrates his own story of a happy childhood in Paris. He shares his love of music, the Japanese tea ceremony, and his obsession with telepathy. He is normal, kind, sensitive and curious. Having been recruited by an American intelligence agency, he heads to Cambridge, Massachusetts to participate in a project dedicated to discerning truth from deception.
Gustav is a neurosurgeon practicing in Stockholm. He, too, is a thoroughly decent man, a gifted musician, who enjoys tour skating, a rather dangerous form of the sport. For three years, Gustav has been deeply in love with Julia, a successful management consultant. When Julia succumbs to the attentions of a client, a great tragedy ensues, leaving Gustav inconsolable. At the urging of a mentor, Gustav, too, heads to Cambridge to pursue a doctorate at Harvard Medical School.
Unbearably burdened by memories of Julia and her last words to him, he is driven to learn whether her words were true or not. When the wife of Redan’s colleague Chris brings the characters together, Chris and Red devise a means to answer Gustav’s burning question. Ultimately, the threads of all their lives pull into a tight weave that, unfortunately, does not survive a sudden wrenching tear.
This is a sophisticated novel, absent of pretension and cynicism. The writing flows elegantly except for an awkward turn of phrase here and there and a typo or two. These are, however, insignificant factors. This is a smashing novel, executed with great skill, and not easily forgotten.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.