Sarah Pemberton Strong

Novelist and Poet





“Powerfully voiced...smart, edgy, well-written…an impressive first.”
—Kirkus Reviews



Sarah Pemberton Strong’s remarkable debut novel is a mesmerizing and highly original story of emotional dislocation, political intrigue, and the powerful forces of memory and desire.

In an airport in the Dominican Republic, two troubled wanderers are drawn together by a chance encounter and a shared sense of longing. Michelle is an American with holes in her past and so strong a need to wander that she walks in her sleep. Tollomi is a native of the West Indies, thoroughly Americanized by education and in search of his true self. The two forge an intense connection that allows them to comprehend each other’s haunting secrets, even as they remain blind to their own. For Tollomi, salvation lies in his deep involvement in Dominican politics; for Michelle, in the urgent desire to rebuild a long-abandoned family home that she believes holds the key to her lost memories. Michelle’s obsessive drive and Tollomi’s passionate affair with a young Dominican man pull both protagonists into a vortex of political tension between Dominicans and Americans, setting in motion an explosive series of events both transcendent and heartbreaking.