“A spellbinding literary thriller packed with psychological suspense and profound questions about motherhood, trauma and how death illuminates life.”—Amy Tan, bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club and Where the Past Begins
“Barbara Graham is a literary alchemist. What Jonah Knew not only grabs you from the first page, it makes the mystical believable and the human predicament shine with wit, wisdom, and love.”—Tara Brach, meditation teacher and bestselling author of Radical Acceptance and Radical Compassion
A seven-year-old boy inexplicably recalls the memories of a missing 22-year-old musician in this psychological thriller about the fierce love between mothers and sons across lifetimes, a work of gripping suspense with a supernatural twist that will mesmerize fans of Chloe Benjamin and Lisa Jewell.
Helen Bird will stop at nothing to find Henry, her musician son who has mysteriously disappeared in upstate New York. Though the cops believe Henry’s absence is voluntary, Helen knows better.
While she searches for him—joined finally by police—Jonah is born to Lucie and Matt Pressman of Manhattan. Lucie does all she can to be the kind of loving, attentive mother she never had, but can’t stop Jonah’s night terrors or his obsession with the imaginary “other mom and dog” he insists are real.
Whether Jonah’s anxiety is caused by nature or nurture—or something else entirely—is the propulsive mystery at the heart of the novel.
All hell breaks loose when the Pressmans rent a summer cottage in Aurora Falls, where Helen lives. How does Jonah, at seven, know so much about Henry, Helen’s still-missing son? Is it just a bizarre coincidence? An expression of Jung’s collective unconscious? Or could Jonah be the reincarnation of Henry?
Faced with more questions than answers, Helen and Lucie set out to make sense of the insensible, a heart-stopping quest that forces them to redefine not just what it is to be a mother or a human being, but the very nature of life—and death—because of what Jonah knows.