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The Second Coming

Spring, 2011. When thirteen-year-old Jolie Aspern goes down onto the subway tracks to retrieve her dropped phone—and nearly gets hit by a train—the last thing she wants is sympathy from her estranged dad, Ethan. A recovering addict and felon, now living in California, Ethan has long struggled to see beyond himself. But when news of Jolie’s accident reaches him, Ethan comes to fear she’s in more serious trouble than anyone realizes. And believing he’s the only one who can save her, he decides to return home. 

So begins the journey of Jolie and Ethan, father and daughter, apart and together, different yet the same. It will stretch from Manhattan in the midst of the Great Recession to a remote beach on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where their lives really began. In time, it will push Jolie out past her depth with a mysterious stranger, and Ethan in over his head with his first love—Jolie’s mom. 

Soaring, aching, full of revelation, The Second Coming is at once an incandescent feat of storytelling and an exploration of an enduring mystery: Can the people we love ever really change? 

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“Garth Risk Hallberg’s great gift is his ability to translate epic themes into intensely intimate, cumulatively powerful novels. Full of tension and emotion and populated by vivid characters and ideas, The Second Coming builds word by word to capture the intricacies of life while revealing its own breathtaking scope. ”

Christina Baker Kline, author of #1 New York Times best seller Orphan Train

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