Publication date: 04 Feb 2016
Page count: 320
A brilliantly clever and insightful novel that deals with the most universal of themes - friendship, and the way our past actions shape our lives - in a uniquely perceptive and memorable way
Turn a betrayal inside out and you found its opposite, a secret and a bond. Perhaps that was what friendship came down to: a lifelong, affectionate mutual blackmail.
Neil and Adam, two young men on the cusp of adulthood, meet one golden summer in California and, despite their different backgrounds, soon become best friends. Buton a camping trip in Yosemite they lead each other into wrongdoing that, years later, both will desperately regret.
Their connection holds through love affairs, fatherhood, the wild successes and unforeseen failures of booming London, as power and guilt ebb between them.
Then the truth of that long-ago night emerges.
What happens when you discover that the friendship you can't live without was always built on a lie?
Two things make Miller's writing dazzle. One is his glorious perspicacity about people and relationships of all sorts: friendships stained with betrayal and competitiveness, work acquaintanceships and love relationships alike. He's witty as well as insightful . . . Miller's other great strength is the aptness and originality of his metaphors and similes . . . It was a challenge for Miller to impress as much with his second novel as he did with his first, but it is one to which he has risen with assurance — Spectator
After his exquisite debut, Snowdrops, Miller has returned to serve up another feast of sumptuous prose. Witty, moving and beautifully observed, it carries you along on a wave of sheer brilliance. This is anexceptional novel and Miller is the real deal — Mail on Sunday
Oozes with tension. Patricia Highsmith . . . would have admired and loved this book in equal measure — Independent
He is also the author of The Earl of Petticoat Lane, an acclaimed memoir of immigration, class, the Blitz and the underwear industry. A. D. Miller is Writer at Large for The Economist; he was formerly the magazine's Moscow Correspondent and Political Editor. He lives in London with his wife and children.