Dear Joyce,
I am writing to you about a debut novel that I loved to pieces, Daniel Lowe’s All That’s Left to Tell.
I first read this debut while recovering from an illness. I have often thought I wanted to write a book strong enough that someone convalescing could read it and disappear in it, but I had never had that experience myself until reading All That’s Left to Tell. I got an early copy in the mail, I opened it up, and then I was gone.
There are so many things to say about Daniel’s lovely book, but it feels strange to divide up the aspects of it, because it is such a beautiful whole. Ostensibly, it is about an American businessman named Marc, who is being held captive in a foreign land and the relationship he develops with Josephine, his interrogator. Every day, Josephine visits Marc and they tell each other stories. And it is through these stories that we see how grief, imagination, empathy, and ultimately the power of storytelling can redeem us.
All That’s Left to Tell made me think at times of another book I love, Philip Roth’s American Pastoral. But that said, I have never read anything like Daniel Lowe’s novel. It is such a brave book. The prose is splendid—Daniel Lowe’s authority on the page never wavers. Oh, I was with him every single word of the way.
I think you will feel the same way, and I hope you pick up a copy of this astonishing debut.
With best wishes,
Elizabeth Strout

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