FIVE TRANSPORTING STORIES AND FIVE UNFORGETTABLE LIVES, LINKED ACROSS CENTURIESThroughout this masterpiece of fiction, exquisitely drawn and unforgettable characters risk their bodies, hearts, and minds in pursuit of the manna of human connection. Between soldier and lover, parent and child, servant and master, and artist and muse, important pleasures and pains are born out of love, separations, and missed opportunities: Young Geoffrey Talbot meets dark-eyed Giselle in France during the Second World War. And his life veers off track forever. In a workhouse in Victorian London, Billy becomes lifelong companions with Alice--as well as with another girl. In rural France in the 1800s, orphaned Jeanne is devout and simpleminded, but still capable of making a tough decision about her affections. The brilliant twenty-first-century Italian scientist Elena Duranti collaborates on a startling discovery about human consciousness-and on an equally astonishing find about her only love. Long-haired and skinny Anya is an American singer-songwriter star in the 1970s. But how real is her life of guitars, lovers, stage fight, and travel if it is, foremost, raw material for her songs?Provocative and profound, Sebastian Faulks's dazzling new novel journeys across continents and centuries not only to entertain with superb old-fashioned storytelling but to show that occasions of understanding between humans are the one thing that defines us--and that those moments, however fluid, are the one thing that endures.