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Julia Severn is a student at an elite institute for psychics. Her mentor, the legendary Madame Ackermann, afflicted by jealousy, subjects Julia to the humiliation of reliving her mother's suicide when Julia was an infant. As the two lock horns, and Julia gains power, Madame Ackermann launches a desperate psychic attack that leaves Julia the victim of a crippling ailment. But others have noted Julia's emerging gifts, and soon she's recruited to track down an elusive missing person who might have a connection to her mother. As Julia sifts through ghosts and astral clues, everything she thought she knew of her mother is called into question, and she discovers that her ability to know the minds of others goes far deeper than she ever imagined.
"...wry, witty...magical...Julavits's often acerbic prose generates laughs despite the sad reality of Julia's life." - Publishers Weekly
"...searing...Intelligent and ambitious..." - Kirkus Reviews