Daniel Alarcón’s first novel is set in an unnamed South American country reeling after years of social and political upheaval, violence and war. A decade after the war’s end, the capital city has been rebuilt, but the deeper, more personal ramifications of the war are still felt and seen everywhere. Norma, a resident of the capital, hosts the immensely popular Lost City Radio, a program that aims to reunite loved ones who were separated — by various means — during the war. Norma’s own husband, Rey, has been missing for ten years, and it isn’t until she is asked to look after an orphaned boy from a rural jungle village scheduled to appear on the show, that Norma regains a sense of hope that Rey might yet be found. Alarcón’s prose is lucid and arresting. He moves easily from the literary present into illuminating proleptic moments that enrich the narrative, giving it a deeply engaging sense of history that is as devastating as it is smartly constructed.