When introverted, eccentric Ethan Fawcett falls in love with the vivacious Barb, he has every reason to believe he will be delivered from a lifetime of solitude. But their relationship takes a turn for the worse when Ethan grows obsessed with providing the perfect life for their adopted 8-year-old twins, Tommy and Sam. A tour-de-force novel about love, the yearning for connection, and the ways in which childhood trauma plays out in adult life.
by Katie Hafner
Spiegel & Grau, July 2022
(via Levine Greenberg Rostan)
When introverted Ethan Fawcett marries Barb, he has every reason to believe he will be delivered from a lifetime of solitude. One day Barb brings home two young brothers, Tommy and Sam, for them to foster, and when the pandemic hits, Ethan becomes obsessed with providing a perfect life for the boys. Instead of bringing Barb and Ethan closer together, though, the boys become a wedge in their relationship, as Ethan is unable to share with Barb a secret that has been haunting him since childhood. Then Ethan takes Tommy and Sam on a biking trip in Italy, and it becomes clear just how unusual Ethan and his children are—and what it will take for Ethan to repair his marriage. This hauntingly beautiful debut novel—a bold and original high-wire feat—is filled with humor and surprise.
Katie Hafner writes for The New York Times, covering health care, and is the author of six non-fiction books: the memoir, Mother Daughter Me; A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould’s Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano (which Kirkus called “the musical version of Seabiscuit”); The House at the Bridge: A Story of Modern Germany; Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (with Matthew Lyon); The Well: Love, Death, and Real Life in the Seminal Online Community; and Cyberpunk: Outlaws and Hackers on the Computer Frontier (with John Markoff). THE BOYS is her first novel.