In this riveting narrative of family and middle-age angst, Esi Edugyan gives us Aster, an all-white suburban enclave. Far removed from the frenzied ways of city life, this small town at first seems an idyllic place to hide away, a place for a man like Samuel Tyne—an African immigrant caught in an impassive marriage, nursing a tenuous connection to his twin daughters, and harboring a growing hatred for his government job—to escape to. When his uncle Jacob suddenly dies, leaving him a rural estate, Samuel promptly packs up his reluctant family, and moves them to his uncle's crumbling mansion. But Samuel soon discovers that Aster is not the haven he had wished for. In fact, there's a strangeness to the town only to be outdone by the strangeness of his own daughters, who are particularly affected by the town's odd goings-on, including a number of mysterious fires. In short order, the new life Samuel Tyne envisioned for himself begins to disintegrate as a dark current of menace is turned upon his family.
Already a book-club favorite, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne is a foreboding and mesmeric read from a welcome and dazzling new voice.
About the Author
Esi Edugyan is the author of the novels The Second Life of Samuel Tyne and Half-Blood Blues, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Orange Prize. In 2014, she published her first book of non-fiction, Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her husband and two children.
“Both familiar and exotic, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne is...a moving and brilliant novel.”
— David Adams Richards, author of Mercy Among the Children
“Edugyan’s language is supple, wry and at turns sensuous. This intricately worked narrative heralds an excellent new voice”
— Chris Abani, author of GraceLand
“It’s hard to believe it’s a first novel...Competent storytelling abilities and deft use of language....A well written book.”
— Los Angeles Times
“A beautifully rendered and haunting look at personal longing and family obligations.”
“Simultaneously sweeping and intimate, brutal and tender, high-spirited and desolate.”
— Baltimore Sun
“In this brilliantly written debut novel, Edugyan flawlessly creates and maintains a pervasive sense of hope loneliness, foreboding and futility.”
— Black Issues Book Review
“Written with an assured hand, Edugyan’s graceful narrative belies the underlying menace that permeates her story.”
— The Seattle Skanner
“A provocative thriller.”
“An elegant first novel.”
— Chicago Tribune
“Fine writing...engaging first work, reminiscent of early VS Naipaul.”
— The Guardian