Annabel Lyon’s debut book of fiction, Oxygen, “left the country’s literary elite breathless” (Elm Street magazine). Now, in The Best Thing for You, Lyon has taken her tough, unflinching style to new heights and all the anticipation is rewarded.
Here, in three novellas, Lyon reveals the potential for darkness that lurks behind even the most perfect-seeming veneer. In the first novella, “No Fun,” a middle-class family in present-day Vancouver is thrown into turmoil when their teenage son is charged in connection with the beating of a disabled man. In “The Goldberg Metronome,” a young couple discovers an antique metronome taped up and hidden under a sink in their new apartment. Its dark past weaves a story that crosses centuries and continents. Then, in the stunning title novella, a riveting and layered film-noirish piece set in wartime 1940s Vancouver, a housewife in her twenties plots and carries out her husband’s murder with sang-froid, with the help of her lover, a young grocery-store clerk. Later, the son of the insurance agent who loses his job over the woman’s claim must deal with his family’s financial downfall as he nurses his own obsession with her crime and its connection to the music in his head.
Lyon draws us in with her vivid characters and sharp, highly charged prose and holds us in the worlds she creates. Along the way, she challenges the fragile illusion of goodness in our lives. Once again Annabel Lyon has demonstrated herself to be one of Canada’s boldest, most exciting new voices.
About the author
Annabel Lyon is the author of two books of adult fiction, Oxygen and The Best Thing For You. All-Season Edie is her first work for children. She lives in New Westminster, British Columbia, with her husband and two children.
“Here is yearning, transgression, lust, and all the consequences. Lyon’s writing is immaculately clean and driven. These novellas bristle with heat and blood-rushing suspense. Characters wholly unexpected and eerily familiar, sharply felt. Lyon is a dazzling stylist. Here is mastery.” —Lisa Moore, author The Giller Prize finalist Open
“Annabel Lyon has no fear: she trains a stark moral searchlight on the snakiest of human dilemmas, while at the same time bestowing upon her characters a tender, tough-minded intelligence that yields fierce insights into the teeth-rattling nature of love. Fetchingly reasonable, stylishly original, these three perfectly poised novellas signal that the form is brilliantly alive and most excellently kicking.”
—Elise Levine, author Requests and Dedications
“Annabel Lyon’s writing is fresh, unexpected and truthful. These three tales explore how we talk to each other and what we notice changing in those we love. Her delivery is savvy, succinct and wondrous.”
—Michael Winter, author This All Happened