Things aren’t going well for Joseph Geist. He’s broke. His graduate school advisor won’t talk to him. His girlfriend has kicked him out of her apartment, leaving him homeless and alone. It’s a tough spot for a philosopher to be in, and he’s ready to give up when an ad in the local paper catches his eye.

“Conversationalist wanted,” it reads.

Which sounds perfect to Joseph. After all, he’s never done anything in his life except play with words. And the elderly woman behind the ad turns out to be the ideal employer: brilliant, generous, and enchantingly old-world. Before long, Joseph has moved in with her, and has begun to feel quite comfortable in her big, beautiful house. So comfortable, in fact, that he would do anything to stay there—forever.

From the author of The Genius, a dark parable about the choices we make, and the consequences they bring.