HarperCollins 2001; Radio New Zealand 2002
Jo’s husband has disappeared in a climbing accident, and she can’t cope with not knowing whether he’s alive or not. She moves to Wellington with her son Matt, into a neighbourhood full of colourful characters – the Kahlers, a German couple still living through World War II, Hok who can test for spirits, and Thomas, reclusive violin-maker. She also meets Sokha, whose husband disappeared during the civil war in Cambodia and is also trying to figure out a way to live with uncertainty and doubt. Racial violence rears its ugly head and affects them all, but Jo can’t find a way out of her personal dilemma – until the shock of a different kind of tragedy.
‘A page-turner with real class, falling squarely between the arthouse and the blockbuster.’ (Evening Post).
‘This is a redemptory tale, told in a unique voice. Jansen’s style is seamless without being slick; it’s detailed but uncluttered. She knows when to pare back, what to include…There’s hardly a word out of place or an awkward moment.’ NZ Listener.
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