Published by Pegasus Books on March 15th 2015
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While struggling to adapt to life as a freshman in college, Noah is also balancing a role in the campus production of Les Miserables and desperately searching for someone who understands the feelings surrounding his gender identity. In hopes of finding someone to talk to, Noah makes an appointment with his school’s behavioral health center, where he meets with Malcolm. As a widower with two college-age daughters, Malcolm’s ability to completely understand Noah is limited, but the pair develop a unique bond that will impact both their families and the people around them.
Some novels are so quiet they can sneak up and surprise you with their ability to weave a tale. The Listener is one of those books. On the surface, it sounds like a story we’ve all read: an odd pair come together and reveal a secret or two that send ripples through their lives. It’s certainly familiar. Yet, Basch pulls in dozens of elements that make her story unique and layers them together in a way that allows it to be incredibly engaging without ever feeling over the top.
A story rooted in the closed-off room of a therapist is the starting point of a novel focused on opening up. Through Noah and Malcolm, we connect to the circle of lives around them and are reminded how delicate we must treat our most important relationships; fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, and the very best of friends.