Gavin Sasaki was a promising young journalist in New York City until the day he was fired for plagiarism. The last thing he wants is to sell foreclosed real estate for his sister Eilo's company in their Florida hometown, but he's in no position to refuse her job offer. Plus, there's another reason to go home: Eilo recently met a 10-year-old girl who looks very much like Gavin and has the same last name as his high-school girlfriend, Anna, who left town abruptly after graduation.
Determined to find out if this little girl might be his daughter, Gavin sets off to track down Anna, starting with the three friends they shared back when he was part of a jazz group called The Lola Quartet. As Gavin pieces together their stories, he learns that Anna has been on the run for good reason, and soon his investigation into her sudden disappearance all those years ago takes a seriously dangerous turn.
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- J. Knigge
Sad and beautiful
Emily St. John Mandel depicts four adults in their late 20ies struggling with their lives that just do not work out. In retrospect, something that was only meant to be a start, their high school band, becomes a reference point of good times past. The story sets off when the protagonist Gavin finds out his high school girl friend Anna was pregnant before she disappeared and he has got a daughter. What folliws is an intricaltly woven thrilling mystery, crime and detective story, but mostly a portrait of people trying to make the right choices. In the end, no one is saved, some are lost and for some there is hope. But Emily St. John Mandel refreins from any all too simple answers. She leaves her protagpnists and the reader with the task to make the best of it without promise of success but with a lot of love for people being unperfect.