Mar 17, 2011

Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon

Await Your Reply

Await Your Reply
Author: Dan Chaon
Genre:  Fiction
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Date Published:  August 25th 2009

From Goodreads:  

The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences–in acclaimed author Dan Chaon’s gripping, brilliantly written new novel.

Longing to get on with his life, Miles Cheshire nevertheless can’t stop searching for his troubled twin brother, Hayden, who has been missing for ten years. Hayden has covered his tracks skillfully, moving stealthily from place to place, managing along the way to hold down various jobs and seem, to the people he meets, entirely normal. But some version of the truth is always concealed.

A few days after graduating from high school, Lucy Lattimore sneaks away from the small town of Pompey, Ohio, with her charismatic former history teacher. They arrive in Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, at a long-deserted motel next to a dried-up reservoir, to figure out the next move on their path to a new life. But soon Lucy begins to feel quietly uneasy.

My whole life is a lie, thinks Ryan Schuyler, who has recently learned some shocking news. In response, he walks off the Northwestern University campus, hops on a bus, and breaks loose from his existence, which suddenly seems abstract and tenuous. Presumed dead, Ryan decides to remake himself–through unconventional and precarious means.


I was not familiar with Dan Chaon’s work before I picked up Await Your Reply, other than the description of the book I had no idea what I was getting into. 

Await Your Reply is a complex and sometimes confusing book to read.  I had to reread the ending a couple of times to understand what the hell happened.  I googled the ending to see if the conclusion I came to was correct, but didn’t find the answers I was looking for until I came upon an interview with Dan Chaon where he explained to ending to some readers that had questions like me.  I had an “AHA” moment after reading it, then went back and reread the ending again knowing what I now new. 

Alright I’m getting ahead of myself.  First off the book is told in 3 points of view, each chapter is rotated between these three people.  They are all somehow linked but you don’t really find out until the end how.  I kept on thinking I had it, but then would get pushed in another direction until I was completely flabbergasted.  I loved Mr. Chaon’s writing, it reminded me of the simplicity that John Grisham has, very  straightforward movement of the plot.  The story moved at a great pace. 

The characters in Await Your Reply are complicated, and a mystery.  As the story moves along you get to know them.  It was like a courtship, you didn’t feel a attachment until the end when you realized you were sad to let them go.  They really did sneak up on you.

Await Your Reply will leave you scratching your head, but nevertheless you will be entertained.  


  1. Awesome, I have this on my TBR. I'm going to read it and then come to you to answer the questions I have at the end! =)

  2. This was considered to be one of the good books of last year I'm told, or was it the year before?
    I read a few reviews and they all seem positive. You have some good points, the ending shouldn't leave a reader confused!

    Thanks for sharing.


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