Building on the critical success of A Replacement Life, Boris Fishman’s second novel—which follows a couple who travel to Montana to find their adopted son’s biological parents and the source of his unusually wild behavior—demonstrates the full range of his phenomenal talent and has the potential to be both a literary masterpiece and a huge commercial hit.
Years after their whirlwind romance and marriage, Russian immigrants Alex and Maya Rubin have thrown themselves into the quiet, calm life of suburban New Jersey. Both have tried to distance themselves from their foreign roots and settle into the mold of prototypical Americans. And their young adopted son, Max, is as American as they come—the vigorous blond offspring of two teenagers from Montana. But Max begins to act out in inscrutable, wild ways. He has always been a bit of a mystery to Alex and Maya, ever since his biological mother dropped him off at their house eight years earlier, insisting “Don’t let my baby do rodeo.” As Max’s actions become increasingly alarming, the woman’s words haunt Maya—what did she mean? Maya convinces Alex to embark on a cross-country road trip to Montana with Max, hoping to track down Max’s biological parents and solve the puzzle that is their son. But the wild, undulating landscapes unleash something within Maya. She once used to be a force of nature herself, a wild girl who chased her dreams with a single-minded ferocity. But two decades of marriage have refashioned her into simply a wife, a daughter-in-law, and a mother. The trip to Montana—and what they find there—force Maya to wrestle with her choices, with seismic consequences for her family.