This debut novel, which was nominated for Man Booker Prize, is the story of a young girl, Madeline, growing up on the land of a former commune, with her hippie-type parents and four dogs. When a young woman and her four-year-old son move in across the lake, she finds solace in taking care of the kid and getting closer to the mom, but when the father comes back into town, Madeline can sense that something is wrong.
There are a lot of wonderfully explored themes in this book--guilt, responsibility, isolation. What really shines is Fridlund's exquisite language. The prodding, haunting plot will stick with you long after you finish.

Recommended by Kim Anguish

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