A struggling musician suddenly finds himself father to a teenage boy, in this “compelling” novel by the author of The Art of Racing in the Rain (Seattle Post-Intelligencer).
Fathers never forget seeing their kids for the first time. But Evan is greeting his son, Dean, fourteen years late. Dean’s mother ran off to another city long ago—and now that she’s passed away, Dean has arrived in Seattle. Evan becomes a single parent in an instant.
Back in the day, he was lead guitarist for a hot band with a hit single. At thirty-one, he gets by as a guitar instructor to middle-aged guys, and does menial work in a music shop. He also struggles with his feelings about being viewed as a slacker by his heart-surgeon dad and his successful-lawyer brother—as well as with the epilepsy that could cause a seizure at any moment.
Now, with Dean in the picture, some things are going to have to change—and both of them will have some growing up to do—in this “engrossing family drama” from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Sudden Light (Publishers Weekly).
Bonus content: Incudes a conversation between Garth and his editor, Bryan Devendorf, drummer for The National
Stein (Raven Stole the Moon) builds an engrossing family drama around a Seattle rock musician. Evan's the odd man out in the Wallace family: his dad's a renowned heart surgeon, his mom's the dutiful doctor's wife and his brother's a successful lawyer. His entire life, they've treated Evan like damaged goods, and in some ways he is. Hit by a car as a child, Evan now has frequent and sometimes severe epileptic seizures. And although he once had a top-10 hit, these days Evan gets by working as a guitar shop salesman. Stein ups the emotional ante of the Wallace world by dropping a 14-year-old son, Dean, in Evan's lap when the boy's mother, Evan's high school flame, is killed in an auto accident. Long denied a chance to be involved in Dean's raising, Evan is excited to be a dad, but it isn't easy there's that exchange when Dean smacks Evan and Evan calls him a "rude little shit," for example. It's as if Stein has taken his hero, set a series of nasty psychological and medical roadblocks in his path, and then stepped back to see if Evan can find his way toward health and happiness. Following the emotionally stunted Evan along his arduous journey isn't always a pleasant experience, but the path is littered with life lessons that Stein weaves into the narrative with honesty and compassion.