The Promised World

Lisa Tucker, Author . Atria $25 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4165-7538-2

Engrossing and suspenseful, Tucker’s remarkable fourth novel (after The Cure for Modern Life ) unveils the motives behind the curious behavior and superfluous lies of unusually close-knit fraternal twins. Brilliant but mercurial Billy Cole, estranged from his wife, Ashley, commits suicide after losing visitation rights to his children. After Billy’s death, his fragile twin, Lila, immediately begins to break down, recalling bizarre incidents and feeling overwhelmed by dread. Once her husband, Patrick, who always prized reason over emotion, hears from Ashley that the twins lied about their parents being dead, he connects with Lila’s mother, Barbara, and gets a very different picture of the twins’ past. By rotating points of view between Lila, Patrick, Billy and Ashley, Tucker fleshes out the story, leaving readers understanding how both guileless and malevolent actions can be misconstrued. The strong, plausible narrative threatens to lapse into melodrama at the end but Tucker’s easy hand with characters and persuasive human trauma saves the day for this satisfying, imminently readable novel. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/01/2009
Release date: 09/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
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