By Hyatt Bass
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805089943, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
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A once-charmed family is forced to confront the devastating tragedy that struck it years ago in this fiercely tender tale of betrayal and reconciliation
It’s the fall of 2007, and Emily Ascher should be celebrating: she just got engaged to the man she loves, her job is moving in new and fulfilling directions, and her once-rocky relationship with her mother, Laura, has finally mellowed into an easy give-and-take. But with the promise of new love
Settling into old comes a difficult look at how her family has been torn apart in the many years since her brother died. Her parents have long since divorced, and her father, Joe, a famous actor and playwright who has been paralyzed with grief since the tragedy, carries the blame for his son’s death—but what really happened on that winter night? Why has he been unable to clear his name, or even discuss that evening with Laura and Emily?
As spring looms—and with it Emily’s wedding in the Berkshires and an unveiling of Joe’s new play—each Ascher begins to reevaluate the events of long ago, finally facing the truth of his or her own culpability in them. Moving between past and present over the course of sixteen years, The Embers is a skillfully structured debut novel of buried secrets and deep regrets that crush a family while bonding its members irrevocably.
Hyatt Bass wrote, directed, and produced the film 75 Degrees in July, which was released in 2006. The Embers is her first novel.