As an American expat in Switzerland, Anna Benz feels lost. Her husband, a successful Swiss banker, is supportive but distant, and her grasp of the language is such that she has few friends beyond her three children and her helpful mother-in-law. Bored and lonely, Anna slips into a string of affairs, first falling in love with a professor visiting from the States, then dulling the pain of his abrupt departure with successive liaisons. German-language class, new friendships, and a Jungian analyst do little to help. Caught in a struggle to find herself and her place before the truth of her dalliances comes to light, Anna is already spiraling out of control when tragedy pushes her over the edge, where she will face the very base reality of the sum of her decisions. Isolated and tormented, Anna shares more than her name with that classic adulteress, Anna Karenina, but Essbaum has given a deft, modern facelift to the timeless story of a troubled marriage and tragic love in this seductive first novel.