cover image At the End of the World, Turn Left

At the End of the World, Turn Left

Zhanna Slor. Agora, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-951709-25-9

In Slor’s elegantly written and thought-provoking debut, set in 2007 and 2008, 25-year-old Masha returns to Milwaukee from her home in Israel at the request of her father, who begs her to find her missing 19-year-old sister, Anna. Masha’s search for Anna also becomes a search for Masha’s own sense of herself. As she comes to terms with her parents’ emigration from the Ukraine when she was a child, she reexamines her decision to settle in Israel. Masha shares narrative duties with Anna, whose life changed due to an exchange of messages on MySpace with a Ukrainian woman claiming to be her half-sister. As Anna notes, “Consequences don’t always appear in one fell swoop; sometimes they are jagged, ripping slowly through the course of your everyday life, like dull scissors cutting fabric. One moment, everything is as it always was. And the next?” Slor keeps the suspense high in this unconventional detective story, using her characters’ musings on language and perception to enrich readers’ understanding of how and why events unfold as they do. Those looking for an intricately textured tale of family relationships will be rewarded. (Apr.)