Pub. Date - 3/9/2010 - Scribner
On a cold January morning, Susan, a professor of biology, leaves her husband alone for a few minutes and returns to find him gone. Suffering from dementia, no longer able to dress or feed or wash himself without help, Christopher has wandered alone into a frigid landscape with no sense of home or direction. Lost.
Over the course of one weekend, as a massive search for Christopher takes place, Susan's life intersects with those of two strangers: Jeff, her liaison with the police, a social worker and search-and-rescue expert shaken by his young wife's betrayal, and Corey, a twelve-year-old boy, rendered mute by a family tragedy, who has become one of Jeff's cases. While the temperature drops and teams scour the countryside with greater and greater urgency, Susan and Jeff venture into the fraught territory of their pasts -- to impulsive choices and events that may have led to their present circumstances and to the painful question of whether they are to blame for their spouses' actions. Corey, too, is troubled by memories, and a secret that could affect them all. When the desperate search concludes, what it uncovers will transform Susan, Jeff,and Corey and irrevocably bind them together.
From the unexpected convergence of these three lives emerges an arresting portrait of the shifting terrain of marriage and the uneasy burden of love and regret. With her stark, beautiful prose and extraordinary insight into the human conscience and heart, Alice Lichtenstein has crafted a fiercely eloquent and emotionally suspenseful novel about the lengths we will go to take care of someone and the unfathomable ways that even the simplest of choices can reverberate throughout a life.