This is Johnston's first novel; he wrote two previous short story collections. He is the director of creative writing at Harvard, and his skills don't disappoint. These characters are real, and the pain they feel and difficulties they face are achingly and realistically described. We hear about kidnap victims returning to their families - but then what? This novel answers that question, and gives us hope that the victim and his family can recover, though the journey is difficult. I look forward to more of his writing.