A National Book Award finalist, this novel relates the events of four crucial days in the lives of four people sharing a rambling Victorian house, “lying low” and harboring secrets not meant to be shared. Theo Wait, a middle-aged former ballet dancer, and her brother, Anton, have taken in two boarders: beautiful Lynn, who never receives mail or visitors; and energetic and effusive Ouida, a Brazilian student and illegal alien who won’t let complicated bureaucratic wrangles and constant fear of deportation taint her vision of America as the land of opportunity. A faked identity, a search for one of the FBI’s most wanted escaped prison convicts, and a Brazilian feast that spins out of control kick the plot into high gear. While each of these characters has been plagued by a sense of impending disaster, the terrible thing they’ve all been fearing comes from an entirely unexpected direction, shattering all of their lives.
Diane gives an overview of the book:
A two-time finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Diane Johnson has drawn comparisons to Jane Austen and Edith Wharton with her comedies of manners about Americans living and loving abroad.
Johnson’s books include L’Affaire (2004...