Thurlow Dan is the founder of the Helix, a cult that promises to cure loneliness. With its communes and speed-dating, mixers and confession sessions, the Helix has become a national phenomenon - and attracted the attention of governments worldwide. But Thurlow, camped out in his Cincinnati headquarters, is lonely - for his ex-wife, Esme, and their daughter, whom he hasn't seen in 10 years. Esme, for her part, is a covert agent who has spent her life spying on Thurlow, mostly to protect him from the law. Now, with her superiors demanding results, she recruits four misfits to botch a reconnaissance mission in Cincinnati. But when Thurlow takes them hostage, he ignites a siege of the Helix House that will change all their lives forever.
"Fiona Maazel's new novel won't take no for an answer - it grabbed me from page one and didn't let me come up for air until the last page; I really think I may have bruised my ribs from laughing." (Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!)
"No one does loneliness, self-abasement, and dread like Fiona Mazel. And maybe no one other than George Saunders illuminates with as much sadness and comic brio the grotesqueness of the extent to which we fall short - as citizens, as family members, and as individuals - of who we imagine ourselves to be." (Jim Shepard, author of You Think That's Bad)
"Fiona Maazel's imagination is so wild - wild being an under-observed variety of honesty - that you feel like you've woken up into one of those rare novels as real as life. Hooray for such a talent!" (Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances)
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