With the realism of John Updike and the psychological astuteness of Alice Hoffman, this "absorbing, elegant novel . . . remains surprising to the end" (Suzanne Berne).Greg Goodman is a very ordinary guy-a not-very-ambitious school teacher and football coach who takes his attractive wife, Patty, their twin adolescent daughters, and the comfortable ease of their suburban routine for granted. Until lightening strikes-both literally and figuratively-as Greg runs a pattern with his junior varsity team during a muggy August practice and fifteen-year-old Timothy Phelps is directly struck. This crisis threatens to unravel all the strands anchoring Greg to his normal habits of being. When Timothy's mother, a stripper and addict who abandoned Timothy as a child, enters the mix, Greg discovers his own complicated and misguided longings. As in her debut novel, Suzanne Matson employs "crisp, clean writing . . . [and] compassionately drawn characters" (New York Times Book Review) to create a gripping story about the nature of love, trust, family, and marriage. Set in a seemingly safe world of split-levels and carefully tended lawns, A Trick of Nature powerfully captures the characters' emerging self-awareness as they are forced to test the assumptions they hold about themselves and the connections that bind them.