The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

Tom Rachman, Author
Tom Rachman. Dial, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-679-64365-4
Reviewed on: 03/24/2014
Release date: 05/27/2014
Rachman follows up the debut success of The Imperfectionists with a suspenseful novel that whisks readers around the world, from Sydney to Bangkok to New York. This coming-of-age story focuses on the life of fiercely independent late-bloomer Tooly Zylberberg, who, in her early 30s, opens a ramshackle bookstore in the small Welsh town of Caergenog. Jumping between three decades, the global-scale mystery surrounding Tooly slowly unravels. It begins in 2011, when Tooly’s ex-boyfriend contacts her about her dying former caretaker, whom he believes is her father. The novel weaves a critique of modern society through Tooly’s odyssey, with a cast of characters grappling with the mundane realities of the 21st century. The novel loses steam toward the end, but the journey is still worth taking. Agent: Susan Golomb, Susan Golomb Agency. (May)
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