With the psychological tension of Patricia Highsmith and the emotional complexity of Ian McEwan, THE SHADES tackles the question of how we come to terms with death, and how after a catastrophe we can linger in an in-between state, living but barely alive.
A year after their teenage daughter’s death, Catherine and Michael Hall are still coping with the disaster, and renegotiating the new normal of their busy lives in and out of London. Their son, Rowan, leaves the family home to attend boarding school, just around the time that an unannounced young woman arrives at the Hall residence, which she claims was her childhood home. At first, Catherine is intrigued by the young woman, who offers meaningful connection and a reprieve from reminders of her daughter’s death, rocky marriage, and fading career, but she soon comes to regard the visitor warily. As their relationship becomes one of forbidding uncertainty, the mysteries of the past eerily collide with the truth of the present. This masterful novel gets to the heart of our deepest anxieties: the safety of those we love and the sanctuary of home.
Evgenia Citkowitz was born in New York and educated in London and the United States. Her debut novella and short story collection, Ether, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. She lives in Los Angeles.
Vanity Fair: This Season’s Ultimate Fiction
Vogue: A Book to Thrill, Entertain, and Sustain You
Spare and haunting, The Shades is a gripping mystery and a story of a family in crisis.