A love triangle between two college friends and a charismatic professor alters the lives of everyone involved in this razor-sharp novel from an author whose work was hailed as "captivating" by J. Courtney Sullivan.
Fiona and Liv are seniors at Buchanan College, a small liberal arts school in rural Pennsylvania. Fiona, who is still struggling after the death of her younger sister, is spending her final year sleeping with abrasive men she meets in bars. Liv is happily coupled and on the fast track to marriage with an all-American frat boy. Both of their journeys, and their friendship, will be upended by the relationships they develop with Oliver Ash, a visiting literature professor whose first novel was published to great success at the age of twenty-six.
Now Oliver is in his early forties, with thinning hair, rugged good looks, and a checkered past—there is talk of a relationship with an underage woman, a former student, at a previous teaching job. Meanwhile, Oliver's wife, Simone, is pursuing an academic research project in Berlin, raising their five-year-old son, dealing with her husband's absence, and wondering if their marriage is beyond repair. This sly, stunning, wise-beyond-its-years novel is told from the perspectives of the three women, and showcases Berman's talent for exploring the complexities of desire, friendship, identity, and power dynamics in the contemporary moment.