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The Boy in The Field

The Boy in The Field

SKU: BPB-3236681166

One September afternoon in 1999, teenagers Matthew, Zoe, and Duncan Lang are walking home from school when they discover a boy lying in a field, bloody and unconscious. Thanks to their intervention, the boy’s life is saved. In the aftermath, all three siblings are irrevocably changed. 

Matthew, the oldest, becomes obsessed with tracking down the assailant, secretly searching the local town with the victim’s brother. Zoe wanders the streets of Oxford, looking at men, and one of them, a visiting American graduate student, looks back. Duncan, the youngest, who has seldom thought about being adopted, suddenly decides he wants to find his birth mother. Overshadowing all three is the awareness that something is amiss in their parents’ marriage. Over the course of the autumn, as each of the siblings confronts the complications and contradictions of their approaching adulthood, they find themselves at once drawn together and driven apart.

  • Author

    Margo Livesey

  • Condition


  • Reviews

    “In the broadest sense, Margot Livesey’s exquisite novel The Boy in the Field is a whodunit.… But the real mysteries lie elsewhere, specifically and most compellingly with the characters who are witnesses to the crime…. Livesey’s writing is quiet, observant and beautifully efficient — there’s not an extra word or scene in the entire book — and yet simultaneously so cinematic, you can hear the orchestral soundtrack as you tear through the pages.”  — New York Times Book Review

    “An expertly crafted novel of family (and one almost magically good dog) filled with dazzling insights and beauty.” — People, Book of the Week

    "With a pointillist's eye and a detective's nose, Livesey has produced a novel that is gorgeous in its lyricism and as kinetic as a whodunit." 
    — O, the Oprah Magazine

    “Luminous.... Livesey’s language is crystalline-clear and immersive.... Ultimately what keeps Livesey’s novel aloft is that it is full of kindnesses ... as well as Livesey’s precisely evocative words. At one point, Duncan tears a handful of his sketches in half, “enjoying the decisive sound of fibers parting.” Like so many other moments in this novel, that description nails the moment, the character, and the elemental aspect of the book in one fell, satisfactory swoop.” — Boston Globe

    “A swift-moving mystery that expands into subtler sorts of narratives — the coming of age, the family in crisis — Margot Livesey’s ninth novel, The Boy in the Field, once more demonstrates how she’s the best sort of pro.” — Minneapolis Star Tribune

    “Here, everything and everyone feels real. Maybe because those most sensational details of incidents that would normally be the raison d’etre of a book like this one, with a crime at its center, receive the very welcome nuanced treatment from author Livesey, whose novels have, for a couple of decades now, been successful at making the rich subtext of feeling, memory, and difficult life decisions mulled over, the main event of her stories."
    — New York Journal of Books

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