A poignant and probing psychological drama that follows the lives of three siblings in the wake of a violent crime
'Exquisite' New York Times
'A searingly intelligent writer' Jennifer Egan
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.
To experience the world as rendered by Margot Livesey is a singular, extraordinary delight' Claire Lombardo
'Every novel of Margot Livesey's is a joyous discovery' Alice Sebold
Margot Livesey is a searingly intelligent writer at the height of her powers
Every novel of Margot Livesey's is, for her readers, a joyous discovery. Her work radiates with compassion and intelligence and always, deliciously, mystery
Margot Livesey should be better known.... [She] writes as well as anyone and is clearly steeped in the literary canon.... She's a patient builder of complex characters who are often brought face to face with uncomfortable truths about themselves. - Wall Street Journal
Livesey knows her way around human desire and disappointment. - New York Times
Family bonds are fraught, fragile, yet ultimately enduring in Livesey's nuanced account of the siblings' separate but conjoined odysseys . . . Livesey demonstrates . . . respect for the mysteries of the human heart . . . Quietly yet powerfully affecting. - Kirkus (starred)
I loved every single sentence of The Boy in the Field. This novel is so intricately woven, its world so vibrantly built, its characters so beautifully and empathically wrought. To experience the world as rendered by Margot Livesey is a singular, extraordinary delight.
Margot Livesey has the unique ability to find the hidden darkness beneath the surface of our lives, no matter how deeply buried. A deceptively simple story that explores the aftermath of a moment of violence, The Boy in the Field amazed me with its insight, and the subtlety of Livesey's beautiful, almost dreamlike prose.
Every character rings true; every observation and reaction feels real. Braiding three separate views of the same incident, Livesey weaves a masterful tapestry of emotion and action focused on the indelible impact of random events - Booklist (starred review)