DescentBook - 2015
A Breakout NEW YORK TIMES Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
An Indie National Bestseller
“Outstanding . . . The days when you had to choose between a great story and a great piece of writing? Gone.” —Esquire
“The story unfolds brilliantly, always surprisingly . . . The magic of his prose equals the horror of Johnston’s story; each somehow enhances the other . . . Read this astonishing novel.” —The Washington Post
“Tim Johnston’s high-wire literary thriller . . . will leave you gasping.” —Vanity Fair
“A riveting literary thriller of the can’t-stop-turning-the-page, stay-up-all-night variety.” —Alice LaPlante, author of A Circle of Wives
The Rocky Mountains have cast their spell over the Courtlands, a young family from the plains taking a last summer vacation before their daughter begins college. For eighteen-year-old Caitlin, the mountains loom as the ultimate test of her runner’s heart, while her parents hope that so much beauty, so much grandeur, will somehow repair a damaged marriage. But when Caitlin and her younger brother, Sean, go out for an early morning run and only Sean returns, the mountains become as terrifying as they are majestic, as suddenly this family find themselves living the kind of nightmare they’ve only read about in headlines or seen on TV.
As their world comes undone, the Courtlands are drawn into a vortex of dread and recrimination. Why weren’t they more careful? What has happened to their daughter? Is she alive? Will they ever know? Caitlin’s disappearance, all the more devastating for its mystery, is the beginning of the family’s harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths until all that continues to bind them together are the questions they can never bring themselves to ask: At what point does a family stop searching? At what point will a girl stop fighting for her life?
Written with a precision that captures every emotion, every moment of fear, as each member of the family searches for answers, Descent is a perfectly crafted thriller that races like an avalanche toward its heart-pounding conclusion, and heralds the arrival of a master storyteller.
Baker & Taylor
When eighteen-year-old Caitlin Courtland disappears while out for a morning run, her parents embark on a harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths where they must answer some difficult questions to find the truth.
"Descent, the story of a family undone by the disappearance of a daughter who went out for a morning run and didn't come back, marks the adult fiction debut of a remarkable young writer. Stunning in its emotional impact, Descent is a compulsively readable page-turner with a strong literary sensibility. The girl's vanishing--on a sunny, late-summer vacation morning--all the more devastating for its mystery, is the beginning the family's harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths, until all that continues to bind them to each other are the questions they can never bring themselves to ask: At what point does a family stop searching? At what point does a girl stop fighting for her life? In the weeks and months that follow, hope leads todisillusionment, and each of them--father, mother, son--withdraws into emotional isolation, individually assessing the blame and assuming the responsibility for their collective loss. Haunting and unforgettable, Descent is a novel that will grab the reader's heart and mind, and will linger there long after the last page is turned" --
When their daughter disappears while out for a morning run during a late-summer vacation in the Rocky Mountains, her parents embark on a harrowing journey down increasingly divergent and solitary paths where they must answer some difficult questions to find the truth. 35,000 first printing.
From Library Staff
Johnston's debut novel involves the disappearance of a daughter who went running and never returned. When does a family stop searching?