Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374154714, 288pp.
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
Long-listed for the 2016 International Dylan Thomas Prize
After two acclaimed story collections, Laura van den Berg brings us "Find Me," her highly anticipated debut novel a gripping, imaginative, darkly funny tale of a young woman struggling to find her place in the world.
Joy has no one. She spends her days working the graveyard shift at a grocery store outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past. But when a sickness that begins with memory loss and ends with death sweeps the country, Joy, for the first time in her life, seems to have an advantage: she is immune. When Joy's immunity gains her admittance to a hospital in rural Kansas, she sees a chance to escape her bleak existence. There she submits to peculiar treatments and follows seemingly arbitrary rules, forming cautious bonds with other patients including her roommate, whom she turns to in the night for comfort, and twin boys who are digging a secret tunnel.
As winter descends, the hospital's fragile order breaks down and Joy breaks free, embarking on a journey from Kansas to Florida, where she believes she can find her birth mother, the woman who abandoned her as a child. On the road in a devastated America, she encounters mysterious companions, cities turned strange, and one very eerie house. As Joy closes in on Florida, she must confront her own damaged memory and the secrets she has been keeping from herself.
Imagine a future where an epidemic that erases memories (and eventually kills) takes over the country: That's the setting for the first novel from celebrated short story writer Laura Van Den Berg. More at NPR.org
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