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About the Book


Hailed as “one of our best writers” by The Washington Post’s Jonathan Yardley, Roxana Robinson writes fiction that deftly explores the limits of human endurance, opening our eyes to the subtle landscape of memory and fate. In Cost, she brings us the gripping story of a fragile family tested when a son spirals into addiction.

The novel opens as art professor Julia Lambert, in her beloved summer house in Maine, settles into a visit from her aging parents. Her mother is beginning her descent into Alzheimer’s, while her father, who was once a renowned neurosurgeon, copes with his helplessness in the face of her illness. Julia’s son Steven arrives with a troubling revelation: his brother, Jack, is showing signs of heroin use. Before the summer is over, Julia will find herself navigating the difficult dual roles of daughter and mother as she tries to restore those she loves to an impossible realm of healing and compassion. Reconnecting with her self-absorbed ex-husband and her estranged sister, Julia slowly discovers the limits of her power as her son’s substance abuse begins to permeate their lives. Yet she also discovers her far-reaching capacity for love, weighing her bulwark against a looming tide of loss.

by Roxana Robinson

  • Publication Date: May 26, 2009
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Picador
  • ISBN-10: 0312428464
  • ISBN-13: 9780312428464