Deception and some kind of love are the themes that thread through the journey that is Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida (HarperCollins). As one of the editors of the infamously cool magazine The Believer, Vida has a sharp pen and a way with words. Her novel is a fast-paced, almost breathless first-person narrative that begins when the protagonist, Clarissa, loses everything that she knew to be her world. Fight or flight, she flees in the guise of a woman searching out the truth. Off to Finland, off to the cold, off to a north that she romanticizes as a place that will give her satisfying answers (and closure), but which reveals instead a darkness that is more that just the absence of sun at winter solstice. I can’t give away too much—it’s a sort of mystery, after all. What’s so appealing about this story that I couldn’t put it down is the pacing, and Clarissa’s drive to follow the clues and find her truth. In the end, all the loose ends tie up into a frayed knot with uneven strands, not unlike real life, that leaves us with conclusions that we live with, though we may wish were different.