Walter McCloud was constantly eclipsed by those around him - his beautiful, talented friends, his flamboyant relatives, his golden-boy brother, Daniel. He was always the outsider, never the star. But the summer of 1972 was a turning point in the life of fifteen-year-old Walter. It was the time when he realized that his great passion for dance would never be matched by his talent; the time when he discovered the funny agony of first love' and the time when he watched his brother declining into a cruel, untimely death. It is only when, twenty-four years later, Walter returns to fight for the survival of his childhood Eden, his family's lakeside summer home, that he finally discovers a way to reconcile himself to the past in a way that gives hope for the future.
Jane Hamilton's first novel, the prizewinning The Book of Ruth, was selected for Oprah Winfrey's influential Book Club, as was her second novel, A Map of the World. Her most recent work, The Short History of a Prince, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Her new novel is Disobedience. She lives on an apple farm in Wisconsin.