Description

*Soon to be a TV series*
Jimmy Fallon’s Book Club Top Four Pick and a PBS Book Club Pick


For fans of Kazuo Ishiguro and Emily St. John Mandel, this “mind-bending take on time travel” (The New York Times) is about an isolated town neighbored by its own past and future, and a young girl who spots two elderly visitors from across the border: the grieving parents of the boy she loves.

Sixteen-year-old Odile vies for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she’ll decide who may cross her town’s heavily guarded borders. To the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes that the parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border from the future, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he’s still alive in Odile’s present.

Edme—who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly know Odile—is going to die. Sworn to secrecy to preserve the timeline, Odile now becomes the Conseil’s top candidate. Yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, jeopardizing her entire future.

The Other Valley is “thought-provoking exploration of ethics, power, love, and time travel” (Kirkus Reviews).

About the author(s)

Scott Alexander Howard lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, where his work focused on the relationship between memory, emotion, and literature. The Other Valley is his first novel. Connect with him at ScottAlexanderHoward.com.

Reviews

“A mind-bending take on time travel” and “a slow-boiling psychological thriller…Howard has a naturalist’s gift for the pastoral.”The New York Times

“A well-made speculative page-turner…reading it makes the time fly."The Wall Street Journal

"Stunning...Not only is this novel a quiet meditation on grief and love, but it also finds itself in conversation with larger philosophical debates such as the nature of mortality, fate versus free will, and how far a person will go—and what they’re willing to risk—to spend more time with those they love. A thought-provoking exploration of ethics, power, love, and time travel that is perfect for fans of Ishiguro and McEwan."Kirkus (starred review)

"Beautifully written...a triumph"Booklist (starred review)

"This gripping speculative novel will make for wonderful book club discussions."Library Journal (starred review)

“A moving tale of time travel and teen friendship…surprising and heartrending…this will leave readers with plenty to chew on.”Publishers Weekly

"A lyrical, thought-provoking coming-of-age story that probes the question of self-determination...The premise is strikingly unusual and provocative; the climax, after a long, subtle build, is electrifying. With beautiful prose, a compelling protagonist, and serious fodder for thought, The Other Valley is a remarkable debut."Shelf Awareness

"This is a quiet gem of a novel. Scott Alexander Howard takes a unique premise and executes it beautifully—never relying too heavily on his fantastical plot device to convey young Odile's heartfelt story."The Speculative Shelf

The Other Valley reads like a thriller, and a coming-of-age story . . . every page is imbued with complex questions and even more complex answers. Nowhere is this more thrilling, however, than when, late in the novel, rational and philosophical answers seem to disappear under the weight and force of emotion and reaction. From the mechanics and pitfalls of time travel (in an original and thought-provoking form) to echoes of writers such as Kazuo Ishiguro and Emily St. John Mandel, The Other Valley is a novel of ideas, rooted firmly in the unknowable mysteries of the heart. It’s a stunning, surprising read, and a dazzling debut.” —The Toronto Star

"A bittersweet tale of first love and coming-of-age, as well as a unique take on the intersection of fate and free will.”—Nikki Erlick, New York Times bestselling author of The Measure

"Part Ishiguro, part Amis, and somehow all its own, The Other Valley marks the debut of a phenomenally talented writer. Pay attention." —Sarah Langan, acclaimed author of Good Neighbors

"What a stunning debut! This coming-of-age story is filled to the brim with heart and hope and Howard’s prose is simply breathtaking. The Other Valley is a brilliant take on time travel and a thought-provoking exploration of the boundaries between fate and choice. Make room on your shelves, folks, this book is going to knock your socks off."—Sylvain Neuvel, award-winning author of Sleeping Giants