A gripping novel of love and war, risk and responsibility
Arcadia Hearne is a war researcher, specializing in military intervention. But her immersion in contemporary war is offset by her refusal to put herself at risk, and by her insistence on keeping her past at bay.
Ten years earlier, in the mid-1980s, Arcadia had fled Toronto for London after two university students--rivals for her love--fought a pistol duel over her. Now, through the interventions of her sister, Lux, and her increasingly complicated relationship with a new lover, Amir, who has secrets of his own, Arcadia is forced to confront what really happened on the day of the duel.
Moving from the verdant ravines of Toronto to the secret canals of a gritty, vibrant London, The Rules of Engagement has an extraordinary sense of time and place. A powerful exploration of the nature of love, the novel provocatively explores the crossing of emotional, ethical, and literal borders.
Arcadia Hearne fled Canada for Britain ten years ago after witnessing her two young lovers fight a duel in a Toronto ravine. A conflict specialist with London's Centre for Contemporary War Studies, the reclusive 31-year-old has since become adept at avoiding all forms of risk — geopolitical and romantic. But when her activist sister persuades her to deliver a package to a Somali refugee, Arcadia is forced to confront the hidden violence of her past and to embrace the dangerous possibilities of the present. Wendy Van Riesen's eloquent reading captures the emotional tension and intellectual rigor of this tautly constructed literary thriller about love and apathy in the era of Rwanda.
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