Chizuru Akitani is the twelve-year-old daughter of the famous violinist and Japanese Living National Treasure Hiro Akitani. Overweight and hafu (her mother is white), she is relentlessly tormented at school. When her mother dies suddenly and the cruelty at school only intensifies, Chizuru snaps in a moment of blind rage and fatally stabs a classmate in the neck.
After seven years of institutionalization, Chizuru flees Japan for a new life in the United States. She renames herself Rio, graduates from nursing school, marries and has a daughter, determined to keep her past a secret. But when a mysterious package arrives on her doorstep announcing the death of her father, she feels compelled to return to Japan for the first time in twenty years. Back in her homeland, long-kept secrets are suddenly unearthed and Rio's dark past is thrusted back into her life.
Full of sensual descriptions of Japan, its culture, and its language, Pull Me Under is a fierce and suspenseful exploration of home, identity, and the limits of forgiveness.
'A suspense novel with a female protagonist that gets more right about women than so many others.' - NPR
'A fierce and suspenseful exploration of the profoundly mysterious nature of identity, written with precise and spectacular beauty.' - Laura van den Berg
'The writing of Kelly Luce is beautifully stark and simple, and at the same time playful, earthy, and violent. She's unique, a natural born writer, and Pull Me Under is a strange and very appealing novel, a journey to Japan and the primal scene of the main character’s self - which, like a volcano, may have already blown its top.' - Rachel Kushner<