Nineteen-year-old Annie Black deserts her childhood home in Los Angeles for the promise of liberation and abandon in London. Twenty years later, she is a San Francisco lighting designer and a happily married mother of three who has put her libertine past behind her. Then one June morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox—a black and white image of an unlikely foursome, “innocent enough to anyone unacquainted with its history, its treacherous biological imperatives, its call for reparations left unpaid.” The photograph awakens old longings, and poses new questions that threaten Annie’s marriage and send her on a return journey to London, seeking answers. Past and present disastrously collide, setting in motion the spectacular unraveling of Annie’s life back home. Now she must come to terms with her own indiscretions, untangle the mysteries of her past, and fight to recover everything she holds dear—her career, her marriage, and her college-aged son, Robbie, whose promising future has been violently interrupted. A Small Indiscretion is a gripping debut novel about the power of obsession, the stranglehold of the past, and one woman’s reckoning with her own fateful mistakes.
Jan Ellison is a graduate of Stanford University and San Francisco State University’s MFA Program. She has published award-winning short fiction, and was the recipient of a 2007 O. Henry Prize for her first story to appear in print. Her work has also been shortlisted for Best American Short Stories and the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Northern California with her husband and their four children. A Small Indiscretion is her first book.
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