Upstate New York, 1980s.
The farm stood at the foot of the hill. Around it an aching emptiness of fields and wind. Within, a weight, a sense of being occupied with more than its inhabitants.
The Clares got it cheap. George knew why, though he didn't let on - he didn't want to give Catherine any excuses. He'd given her an easy excuse to get married. He wasn't prepared to give away much more.
Catherine, at home with their young daughter, has the feeling they're not alone. But she is helped by the Hale boys, young Cole and his brothers. Though they never tell her what happened to their mother in this house.
As the seasons burn and then bite, the Clares will find their place in this small upstate community. George, the inscrutable professor; his beautiful, brittle wife. He will try to tame the hollow need inside him. She will pull strength from the friends she makes. And as their marriage splinters, so, too, does the border between sanity and rage, between this world and the inexplicable beyond.
With masterful tension and understanding of human nature, Elizabeth Brundage has crafted a novel that is at once a community's landscape spanning 20 years and an intimate portrait of a disturbed mind. This is new American fiction at its most piercing, ambitious and chilling.
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