By Annabel Lyon
288 pages
January 2020

From "this generation's answer to Alice Munro" (Vancouver Sun) comes a sly, sensual, haunting novel about two women whose lives collide when tragedy changes them forever.

Saskia and Jenny are twins alike in appearance only: Saskia is a grad student with a single-minded focus on her studies, while Jenny is glamorous, thrill-seeking, and capricious. Still, when Jenny is severely injured in an accident, Saskia puts her life on hold to be with her sister. Sara and Mattie are sisters with another difficult dynamic. Mattie, who is younger, is intellectually disabled. Sara loves nothing more than fine wines, perfumes, and expensive clothing, and leaves home at the first opportunity. But when their mother dies, Sara inherits the duty of caring for her sister. She moves Mattie in with her--but it's not long until tragedy strikes. Now, both Sara and Saskia, having been caregivers for so long, find themselves on their own. Yet through a cascade of circumstances as devastating as they are unexpected, these two women will come together. Razor-sharp and profoundly moving, Consent is a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of familial duty, and of how love can become entangled with guilt, resentment, and regret.

“A genuinely surprising read, rooted in a keen, if unsettling, understanding of human nature . . . Consent defies conventional narrative, embracing instead a sense of emotional time . . . This is, after all, how we think and feel, how families and relationships develop and age, how we grow. Life, Lyon shows, isn’t a straight line.”
—Robert J. Wiersema, Toronto Star
“[A]n exuberant and weirdly wonderful novel that absolutely commits to its feverish tale of damaged brains, storied couture dresses, alcoholism, mortality, rare French perfumes, tempestuous sisterhood and cold-blooded retaliation. . . . Brimming with smart, sharp writing and wholly unpredictable turns from one chapter to the next, now and then in fact its cockeyed vision brings to mind Hitchcock and Lynch at their quirky, misanthropic finest. . . . As attractive as the sharp turns and unsettling comedy are, Lyon’s affection for her leading ladies and acceptance (even celebration) of them as they are supplies the novel with irresistible charm.”
The Vancouver Sun