By David Guterson
Alfred A. Knopf, $26.95, 304 pages
Guterson introduces the reader to a vast array of characters each with their own troubles. Ed King opens with Walter, a bored actuary that has an affair with the nanny while his wife is in the hospital. This quick affair leads to a pregnancy for the nanny and many additional infidelities for Walter. The baby is left on a doorstep and is quickly adopted. The book narrates the lives of Walter, his family and other characters that enter the story, including the nanny, Diane. The baby, Ed, becomes wildly successful beyond anyone’s imagination, but never knows he was adopted. When he finds this tidbit out, it leads to a devastating result. No reader can predict what happens to the lives that Guterson constructs in his story. Guterson is masterful in his storytelling. He has created compelling characters that leave the reader wanting more.