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What Could Be Saved
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What Could Be Saved

A Novel

Bookseller Recommendation

What Could Be Saved

“Readers of What Could Be Saved should budget a day for when they have finished reading, just to sit and process this incredible story. Liese O'Halloran Schwarz has given us a powerful and crushing novel about a little boy who disappears while his family is living in Bangkok only to resurface decades later. The slow build of the tangled characters rises to a soul-wringing end that will take some time to recover from.”

Skylark Bookshop image Mary, Skylark Bookshop

Description

“This brilliant portrayal of the lives of expats and their servants is also a suspenseful mystery with ever-darkening twists. For fans of A Little Life and The Goldfinch.” —People, Book of the Week

Washington, DC, 2019: Laura Preston is a reclusive artist at odds with her older sister Bea as their elegant, formidable mother slowly slides into dementia. When a stranger contacts Laura claiming to be her brother who disappeared forty years earlier when the family lived in Bangkok, Laura ignores Bea’s warnings of a scam and flies to Thailand to see if it can be true. But meeting him in person leads to more questions than answers.

Bangkok, 1972: Genevieve and Robert Preston live in a beautiful house behind a high wall, raising their three children with the help of a cadre of servants. In these exotic surroundings, Genevieve strives to create a semblance of the life they would have had at home in the US—ballet and riding classes for the children, impeccable dinner parties, a meticulously kept home. But in truth, Robert works for American intelligence, Genevieve finds herself drawn into a passionate affair with her husband’s boss, and their serene household is vulnerable to unseen dangers in a rapidly changing world and a country they don’t really understand.

Alternating between past and present as all of the secrets are revealed, What Could Be Saved is an unforgettable novel about a family shattered by loss and betrayal, and the beauty that can exist even in the midst of brokenness.


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