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Erica Wagner[Hyland] makes it look so simple, with her words of one syllable, with a style almost entirely devoid of affect; but there is nothing simplistic about her achievement. This Is How is an unflinching, absorbing, morally complex portrait of one life gone suddenly and terribly awry…an eerie, commanding book. It is a novel about crime, though not a crime novel; it has an almost stately pace and yet it's thrilling. It is, most important, a moving and compassionate portrait of a human being who is fully himself and yet stands for all of us, for what we fear, or fear to hope. And that is the best that most writers can ever hope to achieve.
—The New York Times