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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for The Folio Prize 2014
A lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit.
Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder - a first-generation East German immigrant - adopts the last name Kennedy to more easily fit in, a fateful white lie that will set him on an improbable and ultimately tragic course.
Schroder relates the story of Eric's urgent escape years later to Lake Champlain, Vermont, with his six-year-old daughter, Meadow, in an attempt to outrun the authorities amid a heated custody battle with his wife, who will soon discover that her husband is not who he says he is. From a correctional facility, Eric surveys the course of his life to understand - and maybe even explain - his behavior: the painful separation from his mother in childhood; a harrowing escape to America with his taciturn father; a romance that withered under a shadow of lies; and his proudest moments and greatest regrets as a flawed but loving father.
Alternately lovesick and ecstatic, Amity Gaige's deftly imagined novel offers a profound meditation on history and fatherhood, and the many identities we take on in our lives - those we are born with and those we construct for ourselves.
©2013 Amity Gaige (P)2013 Hachette Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Stacy on 02-21-13


I would have never picked up this book based on it's description, but happened on a review and decided to listen anyway.

And I don't normally write reviews, because I'm not a good writer, but I have to tell you (as I've told my friends one by one today) that I listened to this whole book yesterday and started it again today. It is perfect. It is funny and sad and moving and every single sentence is so well constructed and lovely...the reader is perfect. I'm not kidding at all, this is the best book I've ever listened to-- don't pass it by.

I hope her other books will be available on Audible- in the meantime, I'm going to read them!

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Meryl on 02-17-13


I was captivated by the story and motivated to read on. Gaige's style is interesting. I thought the narrator was excellent. Collyer made the main character seem believable even appealing at times. Schroder/Kennedy made one bad decision after another. Painful.

Having been through a difficult divorce (with children) I could feel the angst created in the story line. You felt angst throughout the audio.

I would recommend this book whole heartedly except that the end was not good. I like a book to have a true beginning, middle and end. I was disappointed with the end. I felt like the story stopped abruptly and I was left saying to myself, "Huh?".

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By D L. bloom on 07-11-14

Beautiful and moving

What made the experience of listening to Schroder the most enjoyable?

A wonderful narrator, who really got the perfect balance between the inevitable self sabotage of the protagonist against the subtle and poetic sensitivity of his narrative voice.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Schroder himself: complex, contradictory, sympathetic and repulsive at once.
But I love how Amity Gaige brings so much life to the other characters with such economy of scale; she really breathes life in to them using so little, showing how much she trusts and respects her readers.

Which character – as performed by Will Collyer – was your favourite?

I like the way he portrays Meadow, he reads with great rhythm.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes, it definitely moved me, but it is not sentimental and does not intentionally pull at the heart just unfolds and gives you generous space to walk around in, feeling your way through the language and the landscapes, quietly allowing you to gauge your own reactions and shifting sympathies.

Any additional comments?

A great book which enjoys narrative and language without being heavy handed with it read by an intelligent narrator who really brings the best out of it with a sonorous clarity and steady focus.

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