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The boy in the field : a novel

by Livesey, Margot,

Format: Print Book 2020
Availability: Unavailable 0 of 14 copies
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Summary

A People Book of the Week | An O Magazine Best Book of the Fall| A USA Today Book Not to Miss| A New York Times Book Review Editor's Pick

The New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy delivers another "luminous, unforgettable, and perfectly rendered" (Dennis Lehane) novel--a poignant and probing psychological drama that follows the lives of three siblings in the wake of a violent crime.

One September afternoon in 1999, teenagers Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan Lang are walking home from school when they discover a boy lying in a field, bloody and unconscious. Thanks to their intervention, the boy's life is saved. In the aftermath, all three siblings are irrevocably changed.

Matthew, the oldest, becomes obsessed with tracking down the assailant, secretly searching the local town with the victim's brother. Zoe wanders the streets of Oxford, looking at men, and one of them, a visiting American graduate student, looks back. Duncan, the youngest, who has seldom thought about being adopted, suddenly decides he wants to find his birth mother. Overshadowing all three is the awareness that something is amiss in their parents' marriage. Over the course of the autumn, as each of the siblings confronts the complications and contradictions of their approaching adulthood, they find themselves at once drawn together and driven apart.

Written with the deceptive simplicity and power of a fable, The Boy in the Field showcases Margot Livesey's unmatched ability to "tell her tale masterfully, with intelligence, tenderness, and a shrewd understanding of all our mercurial human impulses" (Lily King, author of Euphoria).

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "There are episodes in life that one can pinpoint as "before" and "after" markers. For teen siblings Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan Lang, their shared transformative moment came on a walk home from school. Zoe was the first to notice a flash of red, which turned out to be blood running down the legs of a boy not much older than herself, who lay wounded in a farmer's field. Demonstrating resolve and resourcefulness, Duncan summons help and the boy survives his murderous attack. But who would do such a thing in this quiet spot, mere miles from the University of Oxford campus. Everyone knows everyone else, right? As Matthew employs critical thinking and heightened inquisitiveness to find the assailant, Zoe channels her new assessment of life's capriciousness into an affair with an American graduate student much her elder. Duncan, who was adopted as a baby, takes cues from curious dreams to track down his birth mother. By looking both inward and outward in the face of this disturbing crime, each sibling notices new things about themselves and their family, some with unsettling consequences. Every character rings true; every observation and reaction feels real. Braiding three separate views of the same incident, Livesey (Mercury, 2016) weaves a masterful tapestry of emotion and action focused on the indelible impact of random events."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Livesey (Mercury) serves up a distinctive blend of literary fiction and psychological thriller. It's nearing the end of 1999 when teenaged sibling Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan Lang spot a boy, beaten and unconscious, in the outskirts of Oxford, England, after their father, Hal, fails to pick them up from school. The paramedics arrive and take the boy away in an ambulance, and the children rush home, realizing "something enormous" has happened. The event brings their statuses in the family into stark relief. Duncan, having been sent by his siblings to call for help, reckons with the "inevitability of being the youngest." Matthew, the oldest, enamored by the heroes and villains of crime novels, wants to know who did it and why. Zoe follows men in Oxford streets, wondering if they were the perpetrators, and experiences a rude sexual awakening along the way ("You're a hot little thing, aren't you?" one says to her). Duncan, who's adopted, believes finding information about the victim will help him in the search for his biological mother. Hal and his wife, Betsy, support their pursuits, which eventually drive the couple apart. Precise prose, cool observation, and tight pacing will keep readers turning the pages. This is a memorable twist on the coming-of-age tale. Agent: Amanda Urban, ICM Partners. (Aug.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
Violent crimes -- Fiction.
Life change events -- Fiction.
Domestic fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Bildungsromans.
Publisher New York, NY :2020
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 256 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780062946393
0062946390
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