November 14, 2022 7:53 AM EST

On a cold night in 2010, a retired doctor sits underneath an ancient oak tree with the unusual little boy who lives across the street. The boy points out the constellations, and what they represent. The man—unlike anyone else in the boy’s life—listens. Though the boy doesn’t know it, this isn’t the first time their lives have intersected, and they’ll soon become linked again in a way that will endure time and distance. Signal Fires, Dani Shapiro’s first novel in 15 years, follows the man and his family, and the boy and his parents, across decades, lyrically examining the ways a single event can alter many lives forever. —Angela Haupt

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