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Stella descends, over and over, in the course of this haunting novel. She falls from the womb, since her mother gives birth standing up; she falls for Martin, who delivers her new green sofa and refuses to leave; she falls ill and eventually recovers; but her biggest fall, the descent that suffuses her story, is a plunge to her death off a nine-story building. Memories and observations related by Stella’s adolescent daughter, her curmudgeonly octogenarian friend, three old ladies who witness her final moments, and finally Stella herself combine in cryptic and beguiling ways to unravel the mystery: Playing a lover’s game on that rooftop, did she fall out of her husband’s arms, or was she pushed?

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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