Thom Geier
August 28, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Await Your Reply

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Dan Chaon
publisher
Ballantine
genre
Fiction

We gave it an A-

In Await Your Reply‘s successive chapters, Dan Chaon tells three parallel stories: Ryan learns that his shady uncle is actually his dad and joins him in identity-theft schemes; Miles abandons his job to continue hunting for his delusional twin brother; and high school grad Lucy runs away with her secretive history teacher. ”Who just abandons their family?” one character asks midway through this finely honed novel, just as the three plots have begun to converge. ”What kind of person decides that they can throw everything away and — reinvent themselves?” Americans love reinvention, of course, but Chaon’s suspenseful yarn smartly explores the consequences of this often romanticized obsession. A?

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