The Other Valley: A Novel (Hardcover)

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The Other Valley: A Novel (Hardcover)


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For fans of David Mitchell, Ruth Ozeki, and Kazuo Ishiguro, an elegant and exhilarating literary speculative novel about an isolated town neighbored by its own past and future, and a young girl who spots two elderly visitors from across the border: the grieving parents of the boy she loves.

Sixteen-year-old Odile is an awkward, quiet girl vying for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she’ll decide who may cross her town’s heavily guarded borders. On the other side, it’s the same valley, the same town. Except to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes that the parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border from the future, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he’s still alive in Odile’s present.

Edme—who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly see Odile—is about to die. Sworn to secrecy in order to preserve the timeline, Odile now becomes the Conseil’s top candidate. Yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, imperiling her entire future.

A breathlessly moving “unique take on the intersection of fate and free will” (Nikki Erlick, author of The Measure), The Other Valley is “a stellar debut, full of heartbreak and hope wrapped up in gorgeous prose” (Christina Dalcher, author of Vox).
Scott Alexander Howard lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Toronto and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard, where his work focused on the relationship between memory, emotion, and literature. The Other Valley is his first novel. Connect with him at
Product Details ISBN: 9781668015476
ISBN-10: 1668015471
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English
"What a stunning debut! This coming-of-age story is filled to the brim with heart and hope and Howard’s prose is simply breathtaking. The Other Valley is a brilliant take on time travel and a thought-provoking exploration of the boundaries between fate and choice. Make room on your shelves, folks, this book is going to knock your socks off."—Sylvain Neuvel, award-winning author of Sleeping Giants

“A stellar debut, full of heartbreak and hope wrapped up in gorgeous prose. Scott Alexander Howard is one to watch.” —Christina Dalcher, author of Vox

"A bittersweet tale of first love and coming-of-age, as well as a unique take on the intersection of fate and free will.”—Nikki Erlick, New York Times bestselling author of The Measure

"The Other Valley is as riveting as it is philosophically beautiful. Scott Alexander Howard asks us to imagine how we might live if our older and younger selves weren't lost to us, but waited for us somewhere. While the premise is uniquely speculative, the sensation of being stranded between the ambitious optimism of youth and the clouded uncertainty of the future is gorgeously familiar. Powerful and atmospheric, Howard's novel is one I hope to reread at different stages of my life." —Sara Flannery Murphy, author of Girl One and The Wonder State

"Part Ishiguro, part Amis, and somehow all its own, The Other Valley marks the debut of a phenomenally talented writer. Pay attention." —Sarah Langan, acclaimed author of Good Neighbors

“Brilliantly conceived. The voice is accomplished and nuanced, and the story is a page-turner with a blistering climax. An astonishing debut.” —Jan Zwicky, Governor General's Award-winning author of Songs for Relinquishing the Earth

“Thoughtful, touching and beautiful, The Other Valley is an accomplished and exquisitely crafted novel. Scott Alexander Howard takes readers into a unique world they are sure to remember, and introduces them to Odile, a fascinating character with an unenviable dilemma.” —Adam Hamdy, acclaimed author of The Other Side of Night

"This is a quiet gem of a novel. Scott Alexander Howard takes a unique premise and executes it beautifully—never relying too heavily on his fantastical plot device to convey young Odile's heartfelt story."—The Speculative Shelf