The Year That Follows
By Scott Lasser
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9780307271198, 256pp.)
Publication Date: June 9, 2009
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The story of a woman’s search for her brother’s lost son, orphaned in the wake of his sudden death, drives Scott Lasser’s riveting new novel—a work of stunning economy and momentum about a woman’s quest and a family’s longing for wholeness and completion.
Cat is a single mother living in Detroit when her brother is killed in New York, and she sets off in search of his child. Her search is still under way when she gets a call from her father. Sam is eighty and carrying the weight of a secret he has kept from her all her life. He asks Cat to visit him in California, intending to make his peace.
Cat’s journey—toward her father, and her brother’s infant son—and Sam’s journey toward his daughter, his lost son, and a new relationship to both his future and his past are woven into this superbly realized novel about families and the mysteries and ambiguities that inhere in our most primal relations. The result is a deeply stirring work that explores the complexities of home and heritage, and the bonds that even death is powerless to diminish.
Scott Lasser is a graduate of Dartmouth College, the University of Michigan, and the Wharton School. His novels include Battle Creek and All I Could Get. A native of Detroit, he lives with his family in Aspen, Colorado.
Praise for Scott Lasser’s The Year that Follows
“Scott Lasser’s succinct writing underscores the quiet emotional intensity of The Year That Follows his tender novel about the powerful, complicated ties of family. . . . A moving but remarkably unsentimental story.”
—Diane White, Boston Sunday Globe
“There are few books this reviewer is compelled to finish in one sitting, and this was one of them.”
—Henry Bankhead, Library Journal
“Getting to know Lasser’s complex and affecting characters is a profound pleasure, as is his radiant understanding of intimate relationships between parents and children and men and women. The strong, sure current of his magnetizing prose delivers one stunning revelation after another in this sinuous tale of biology-leaping familial connections. Every rinsed-clear sentence carries the unbearable tension of fear-laced hope as Cat struggles toward forgiveness and love, and Sam accepts the painful but affirming collision of loss and joy. ”
—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
“A taut, masterfully controlled and profoundly moving novel. . . . A novel with barely a wasted word or an emotion that doesn’t ring true.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“I couldn’t put Scott Lasser’s The Year that Follows down. The characters were vivid, and the drama moving. One of the great gifts of the book is that it brings to life a haunting story in a way that is thoroughly uplifting. One of the best novels about loss I’ve ever read.”
—Anita Shreve, author of Testimony and The Pilot’s Wife
“The Year that Follows introduces readers to a cast of flawed, good people struggling to mine meaning from the tragic loss of 9/11 as, step by tentative step, they move toward an altered future. Scott Lasser’s life affirming novel is stirring, poignant, and quietly profound.”
—Wally Lamb, author of The Hour I First Believed