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Fiction Siblings

Strange Loops

A Novel

by (author) Liz Harmer

Knopf Canada
Initial publish date
Jan 2023
Siblings, Psychological, Coming of Age
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2023
    List Price

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"Enthralling. . . . A story that burns with intensity and daring." —Iain Reid
A propulsive novel about the power and paradoxes of desire, from the acclaimed author of The Amateurs.

As small children, Francine and her twin Philip shared a seemingly unbreakable bond—but in adolescence the connection frayed, and in adulthood the siblings are locked in a repeating loop of complex, destructive emotions. Matters have reached a breaking point, and Francine, now in her thirties and the married mother of two small boys, is convinced that Philip’s teenaged infatuation with religion and subsequent, ongoing obsession with his sister’s “moral impropriety”—sparked by his discovery of her involvement in a forbidden relationship—are to blame.

As storm clouds of resentment and mutual betrayal gather ominously, threatening to upend both siblings’ lives and damage their families, Francine unexpectedly finds herself in a situation that mirrors her earlier transgression: stirred and unsettled by her attraction to a wildly inappropriate man. And the one person who suspects is the last person she trusts—her disapproving twin.

With the plot twists of a thriller, lean prose crackling with intensity, and big ideas explored alongside the messy truth of human relationships, Strange Loops simultaneously shocks and thrills the reader, all while asking vital questions about faith, love, and desire.

About the author

Contributor Notes

LIZ HARMER’s first novel, The Amateurs, was a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award. Her award-winning stories, essays, and poems have been published widely, and she has been a fellow at both the Bread Loaf and Sewanee Writers' Conferences. Raised in Hamilton, Ontario, she now lives in Southern California.

Editorial Reviews

“Gripping. . . . Dense with twists, [Strange Loops] builds to a stunning conclusion that somehow feels both inevitable and unexpected.”Chatelaine

"A slender, wildly compelling novel that asks infinite questions—a dizzying, kaleidoscopic foray into the desires and fears that make us so imperfectly human. I was compelled from beginning to end—this is a novel that sinks into your very bones." —Amanda Leduc, author of The Centaur's Wife
"Lean and enthralling, Strange Loops is brimming with the complexities and questions of human relationships. A story that burns with intensity and daring." —Iain Reid, author of I’m Thinking of Ending Things, and Foe

"Harmer takes cues from Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy." —Toronto Life

"Deeply original . . . tense and fast-paced." —This Magazine

Other titles by Liz Harmer