In the midst of a brutal winter, a man commits an unspeakable crime. A decade after the fact, the fallout is pieced together by another man who was once a friend of the perpetrator. But as the free man tells the prisoner’s story, his words become marked by his efforts to do justice to all of the people whose lives have been touched by this singular event — and his search for a means of imaginative sympathy that might rescue the victim from her degradation.
Can sympathy alone rescue the victim from desecration and despair? Is moral imagination capacious enough to provide restitution? In hypnotic, lyrical prose, Daniel Davis Wood’s powerful novella probes the complex ethics of doing justice to the private tragedies of other people.
To write about trauma often involves exploiting it in some way, imbuing it with meaning or thematic resonance, using it to explore or expose some commentary or observation about the world or the human condition. In this regard, [Daniel Davis] Wood is deeply preoccupied with the ethics of fiction writing. He purposefully avoids naivety and the pretence of innocence, presenting a self-reflective awareness of the constructedness of fiction not as a form of postmodern playfulness, but as a moral necessity.— Julian Novitz, Sydney Review of Books