The brilliant second novel by a new US literary star.
Caroline, 27, walks out of a marriage and into an old people's home where she meets cantankerous, lusty octogenarian Billy, who entrusts a secret to her. She goes from his deathbed to a wedding, where she is seduced by a beautiful man who tells her stories of her ex's antics back home. Bright, buoyant Bonnie, meanwhile, installs herself as Caroline's new best friend and accompanies her to a picnic that turns into a riot. When it is over, the world's altered: for Caroline is no longer herself - she must flee being Caroline. We follow her long flight through trauma, fakery and captivity to redemption.
Jim Lewis's tale of how to measure love and its loss is a swooningly observant and atmospheric tale of rare resonance. Lewis writes about sex, ageing, identity and bereavement with such newness and rightness that his reader is struck dumb.
Why the Tree Loves the Axe Paperback edition by Jim Lewis