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Out of Touch: The heartbreaking and hopeful must read

Haleh Agar

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Sagas, Sociology: family & relationships, Family law: marriage & divorce, Coping with death & bereavement, Advice on parenting

A powerful tale of betrayal and abandonment from a stunning new voice. When a brother and sister receive a letter from the father they haven't seen in twenty years, they must confront long-buried tensions in ways that will change them for ever.

A man hit Ava with his car, a few miles from her bungalow. He brings her flowers in hospital, and offers to do her laundry. He also brings her the letter she dropped that night on the road.

In New York, Ava's brother Michael receives the same letter. He thinks about it as he steps out of the shower into his curtainless bedroom. A naked woman stares at him from the apartment across. They both laugh and cover up with their arms.

Brother and sister cannot avoid the letter: their estranged father is dying and wants to meet. Can they forgive their father, and face each other after all these years apart? Will new unexpected friends offer the advice and comfort they need?

With sharp wit and sensitivity, Out of Touch is a deeply absorbing story about love and vulnerability, sex and power, and the unbreakable bonds of family.

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Praise for Out of Touch: The heartbreaking and hopeful must read

  • Out of Touch is a careful examination of sibling relations, the rips in family life, and the choices that must be made after a person finds themselves to be an adult. Raw and hopeful, this book is about what pulls us apart and what keeps us together.

  • Spanning a year, this thoughtful debut tackles both emotional and physical vulnerability while bravely challenging the orthodoxy that we can overcome anything if we only set our minds to it. It's a sensitive portrait of the prickly awkwardness of relations in a fractured family that finds a way of combining down-to-earth realism with compassion and hope. - DAILY MAIL

  • One of those books that had me ignoring my phone, family and sensible bedtimes. Immersive, gorgeously rich and beautifully written. I loved it

  • A brilliant meditation on the bonds of kinship. Agar delivers this potent, intricate tale with scalpel like precision and tenderness.

  • 'I devoured this brilliant book - it's so wise and astute on families, relationships and the strange ties that bind us. I loved it.

  • I love the way Haleh Agar writes about family and cities and parenthood and sex. Ava and Michael felt completely honest to me, finally a story about siblings I believed! Their fractured relationship really touched me and I think lots of people will relate to it

  • MUST READ... [a] moving debut novel. - S MAGAZINE, SUNDAY EXPRESS

  • I thoroughly enjoyed this great debut about an estranged family, and found the fractured relationships fascinating. - PRIMA

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Haleh Agar

Haleh Agar was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. She left to teach English Literature at international schools in Bahrain, Singapore and most recently London, where she now lives. Haleh has been published in literary magazines and journals, including Mslexia, Viva Magazine, Fincham Press and LampLight. Her short story 'Not Contagious' was Highly Commended by the judges of the 2019 Costa Short Story Award. She won the Brighton Prize for flash fiction and the London Magazine's inaugural essay competition for her piece 'On Writing Ethnic Stories'. Out of Touch is her first novel.

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