From the best-selling, twice Orange Prize-short-listed, National Book Award-nominated author comes a vibrant tale of transformation: of a man in his later years and a woman novelist, each drawn to the Levant on a journey of self-discovery. Jules Epstein has vanished from the world. He leaves no trace but a...
shabby flat patrolled by a solitary cockroach and a monogrammed briefcase abandoned in the desert. To Epstein's mystified family, the disappearance of a man whose drive and avidity have been a force to be reckoned with for 68 years marks the conclusion of a gradual fading.
This transformation began in the wake of Epstein's parents' deaths, his divorce from a 30-year marriage and his retirement from a New York legal firm, continued with him rapidly shedding the possessions he had spent a lifetime accumulating - a watch here, an Old Master there - and took him, with the last of his wealth and a nebulous plan, to the Hilton Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, a novelist leaves her husband and children behind in Brooklyn and checks in to the same hotel, hoping that the view of the pool she used to dive into on childhood holidays will unlock her writer's block.
But when a retired professor of literature recruits her for a project involving Kafka, she is drawn into a mystery that will take her on a metaphysical journey and change her in ways she could never have imagined.
Bursting with life and humour, this is a profound, mesmerising, achingly beautiful novel of metamorphosis and self-realisation - of looking beyond all that is visible towards the infinite.