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‘A beautiful book so filled with sharp longing and perfectly phrased vulnerability that I read it in a reverent hush’ Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby

Mallory sees the woman for the first time at her college gym and is immediately transfixed. As a naturally reserved person who is now reeling from the loss of her mother, Mallory finds herself compelled by the woman’s assurance, and longs to know her better. Despite the discovery that she is a professor at the college, Mallory finds herself falling into a complicated love affair with the woman, the stakes of which she never quite understands.

In the years that follow, Mallory must come to terms with how the relationship shaped her, for better or worse, and learn to become a part of the world that she sacrificed for the sake of a woman she never truly knew.

In this enthralling debut novel, the complexities of influence, obsession, and admiration reveal how desire and its consequences can alter the trajectory of a life.

(P) 2022 Penguin Audio


Michelle Hart's first novel is a haunting study of solitude and connection, moving and memorable
Meg Wolitzer, author of THE FEMALE PERSUASION
A gorgeous storyteller, Hart is gifted with a poet's precision, blending image and idea. Sensual and wise, this novel channels the melancholic exhilaration of dangerous love
Tayari Jones, author of AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE
A beautiful book so filled with sharp longing and perfectly phrased vulnerability that I read it in a reverent hush
Torrey Peters, author of DETRANSITION, BABY
Seductive and lyrical with poetic detail, this is an unforgettable account of a forbidden romance made extraordinary by Hart's precision and lyrical touch. A compulsive read that satisfies and haunts
Nicole Dennis-Benn, author of PATSY
In Michelle Hart's debut novel, she tackles vulnerability, attachment, and the purpose relationships serve in our increasingly isolated lives
At the heart of this sensual debut novel is the story of yearning between young Mallory and a married college professor. Theirs is a transactional desire on the surface, but Hart delves into the motivations of both Mallory and the professor, referred to in the text only as The Woman, to reveal important truths about what our closest relationships say about us, and what they help us conceal
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