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Late one winter afternoon in the small town of Chosen, New York, professor George Clare knocks on his neighbor's door with terrible news: he returned from work to find his wife, Catherine, murdered in their bed. Someone took an ax to her head while their three-year-old daughter, Franny, played alone in her room across the hall.
Recent transplants to Chosen, the Clares have not received the warmest welcome; once a thriving dairy farm, their home is haunted by the tragedy that left the former owner's three sons orphaned and adrift. As one dark secret peels away to reveal others--and as the Clare marriage reveals itself to have a sinister darkness that rivals the farm's history--Elizabeth Brundage offers a rich and complex portrait of the scars that can haunt a community for generations and the dark longings inside each and every one of us that drive us to do inexplicable things.