Synopses & Reviews
On a chilly November afternoon, six-year-old Luke Nightingale's life changes forever. On the playground across from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he encounters Daniel. Soon the boys are hiding from dinosaurs and shooting sniper rifles. Within hours, Luke and his mother, Claire, are welcoming Daniel into their Upper East Side apartment -- and their lives.
Daniel and Luke are soon inseparable. With his parents divorcing, Luke takes comfort in having a near-constant playmate. But there's something strange about Daniel, who is more than happy to bind himself to the Nightingales. The divorce has cut Luke's father out of the picture, and as his increasingly fragile mother struggles with the insidious family depression, Daniel -- shrewd, adventurous, and insightful -- provides Luke both recreation and refuge.
As Luke grows from a child to an adolescent to a young man, he realizes that as much as his mother needs him, Daniel needs him more. Jealous of Luke's other attachments, Daniel moves from gestures of friendship into increasingly sinister manipulations. In the end, Luke finds himself in a daily battle for control of his own life -- wondering whether he or Daniel will emerge victorious.
Brian DeLeeuw's debut is a haunting and provocative story of a family's love and madness that you will not be able to put down.
“Terrifying and terrifyingly good.”
"Elegant, unsettling and wildly original, In This Way I Was Saved
reads like a coming-of-age-story with the heart of a nasty thriller."
-- Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects and Dark Places
"In This Way I Was Saved
gave me chills, not only for its dead-on depiction of the searing loneliness of a hermetically sealed mind, but because it is so thrillingly well-executed. A superb first novel."
-- Kate Christensen, author of Trouble and The Great Man
“A story of friendship and betrayal, violence, madness, lust and power that will keep you guessing until the very last page—and leave you gasping for air.”
“DeLeeuw debuts with a strange tale seething with disturbing psychological overtones. . . . Hitchcock would have loved the premise.”
"Original, subversive, funny, twisted, and totally engrossing, In This Way I Was Saved
is a mind-bending tour de force. I read the last page, flipped back to the beginning, and immediately started it again."
-- Chelsea Cain, author of New York Times bestsellers Heartsick and Sweetheart
"In This Way I Was Saved
is a frightening, gripping tale about a sadistic secret sharer, a shadow self who is ready to devour its host. This is one of the most fascinating and controlled first novels I've ever read -- a sustained performance that hypnotizes and terrifies the reader."
-- Edmund White, author of A Boy's Own Story
"A riveting exploration of the dark side of self. . . .
"More than brothers, less than friends, linked for life: the relationship between Daniel and Luke is unique in the annals of literature, and will keep you guessing right until the book reaches its inevitable conclusion. I haven't been this entertained by a debut novel in years."
-- Dale Peck, author of What We Lost and Body Surfing
"In this original, inventive debut, Brian DeLeeuw delivers a suspenseful and surprisingly tender psychological thriller that gives physical shape to the torment of isolation."
—Helen Schulman (author of A Day At The Beach)
"Haunting and persuasive."
--Los Angeles Times
“Mysterious, psychologically craggy and highly readable.”
—Time Out New York
—The Daily Mail
“DeLeeuw’s precise, vivid prose has that visceral power of both a successful psychological thriller and a gripping ghost story.”
—The Daily Telegraph
“A riveting exploration of the dark side of self. . . . Suspenseful and terrifying, this tale about one’s shadow self running rampant is highly recommended.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
A breathtaking debut of literary suspense about a young boy's struggle against his inner demons--a fight to the death against his secret shadow self.
• Exciting new literary talent: At just twenty-nine years old, Brian DeLeeuw has worked in publishing in both London and New York City, where he is an editor at the literary magazine Tin House
• Haunting subject: A dark, compelling story that skirts the edges of the supernatural, In This Way I Was Saved evokes the best in edgy, psychological horror with overtones of eerie, cerebral pyrotechnics. With its dense web of family secrets, its undercurrent of violence, and its brilliant evocation of a troubled young person’s point of view, it has earned comparisons to Donna Tartt.
• Compelling story: Set in the wealthy environs of New York City’s Central Park West, the story begins in 1994, when Luke Nightingale is six and his parents are finalizing their divorce. Luke’s fragile, volatile mother Claire is the last daughter of a crumbling, blueblood family; her mother died by her own hand. A novel about mothers and sons, the dangers of the imagination, the precariousness of sanity, the terrors of childhood, and the temptations of power— In This Way I Was Saved is a stunning debut by a writer of limitless promise.
About the Author
Brian DeLeeuw is an editor at Tin House