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"Skillful and perceptive . . . A complex portrait of a woman under the influence: of love, then obsession."—The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)
The year is 1981. The United States has just installed Ronald Reagan in the White House, and Cressida Hartley, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, has relocated to her parents' A-frame in the Sierras. There, she plans to finish her dissertation on art in the marketplace, but instead Cress finds herself drawn into the life of this small community—and into the orbit of Jakey Yates, the owner of the local lodge. When she takes a part-time job with a contractor, she meets the Morrow brothers, and her distractions begin to multiply.
As Cress falls prey to her own perilous reasoning, she strays into dark new territory, where she becomes subject to uncontrollable forces from both within and without. At once sharply observed and utterly enthralling, Off Course evokes the pull of an intense, impossible connection and reveals what happens when two people can't let go of one another or their previous commitments.