The first novel from the acclaimed author of Washington Black—an exploration of explores the sweep of history, the binds of blood, the challenges of middle age, and the pain of exile, witnessed through the experiences of one family whose hope blinds them to threatening forces that could tear them apart.
It is 1968 and Samuel Tyne has lived in exile in the chaotic New World for more than a dozen years. Born in Ghana, educated at Oxford, Samuel was expected to accomplish great things. But the middling government employee fears he has fallen short of that promise. When he inherits a crumbling mansion in the small, provincial town of Aster, Canada, he packs up his protesting family, believing that he has been offered a fabled second chance—and this time, he will not fail.
An all-white enclave that was originally settled by freed slaves and runaways from America, the idyllic Aster feels like a miracle. But as time passes, Samuel begins to see the town is not the haven he hoped: riven by political infighting, a community resistant to change, and most disturbing, a number of mysterious fires that have put the townsfolk on edge. His family, too, begins to splinter. Stubbornly clinging to his ambitious dreams, Samuel finds the successful life he’s struggled to build is disintegrating around him, and a dark current of menace in the town is turned upon his family—that they may be too powerless to fight.
“An elegant first novel.”
“A provocative thriller.”
“In this brilliantly written debut novel, Edugyan flawlessly creates and maintains a pervasive sense of hope loneliness, foreboding and futility.”
“A beautifully rendered and haunting look at personal longing and family obligations.”
“Both familiar and exotic, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne is...a moving and brilliant novel.”
“It’s hard to believe it’s a first novel...Competent storytelling abilities and deft use of language....A well written book.”
“Edugyan’s language is supple, wry and at turns sensuous. This intricately worked narrative heralds an excellent new voice”
“Written with an assured hand, Edugyan’s graceful narrative belies the underlying menace that permeates her story.”
“Simultaneously sweeping and intimate, brutal and tender, high-spirited and desolate.”
“Fine writing...engaging first work, reminiscent of early VS Naipaul.”