By Sebastian Faulks
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375704574, 672pp.)
Publication Date: March 18, 2008
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Sixteen-year-old Jacques Rebière is living a humble life in rural France, studying butterflies and frogs by candlelight in his bedroom. Across the Channel, in England, the playful Thomas Midwinter, also sixteen, is enjoying a life of ease-and is resigned to follow his father's wishes and pursue a career in medicine.
A fateful seaside meeting four years later sets the two young men on a profound course of friendship and discovery; they will become pioneers in the burgeoning field of psychiatry. But when a female patient at the doctors' Austrian sanatorium becomes dangerously ill, the two men's conflicting diagnosis threatens to divide them--and to undermine all their professional achievements. From the bestselling author of Birdsong comes this masterful novel that ventures to answer challenging questions of consciousness and science, and what it means to be human.
Sebastian Faulks's six previous novels include Birdsong (1993), Charlotte Gray (2000), The Girl at the Lion d'Or (1989) and On Green Dolphin Street (2001). He is also the author of a biographical study, The Fatal Englishman (1996). He lives in London, is married and has two sons and a daughter.
"Epic in scope, yet suffused with intimate emotions, Sebastian Faulks' seventh novel is one of those rare works of fiction that satisfies on every level." —Chicago Tribune
“Complex and engrossing. . . . A leisurely, enjoyable read . . . always credible and humane.” —Rocky Mountain News
“Passages of gruesome and thrilling anatomical detail and episodes of medical casework [make Human Traces] read like the best detective fiction.” —USA Today
"A collage of science, ideas, romance, and adventure. . . . Fascinating." —The Boston Globe