In Our Other Lives

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To be published on March 1, 2020.

A provocative novel about abandoned faith, heartbreaking loss, and inescapable government scrutiny in the heartland of a post-9/11 nation.

American missionary and ROTC cadet Tyler Ahls, long missing in Pakistan, has just surfaced, proselytizing in an Afghani terrorist propaganda video. For Omaha nurse Elisabeth Holland, it’s a shock that her brother is even alive. Now she must ask herself a more grave question: Is he a hostage or a traitor?

Seasoned FBI special agent Frank Schwaller is asking this too. He’s come to Nebraska armed with countless hours of video, audio, and email surveillance. The object of his unyielding gaze is Elisabeth. But the more Schwaller uncovers about her—from her and Tyler’s evangelical Christian upbringing to her shattered youthful dreams to her broken marriage to a drifter—the more mystifying Elisabeth and the two men in her life become.

To find out the truth about these entwined lives—and the desperation that comes from love, fear, and the need to disappear—Agent Schwaller will discover how even the lonesomest corners of the Plains can be darkened by the long shadow of war.

From Kings of Broken Things author Theodore Wheeler comes an exploration of love lost, the failure of humanism, and the revelations of how deeply the US government spies on the personal lives of its citizens.



“A captivating, thought-provoking, and sweeping novel filled with power and depth. Set against the backdrop of America’s near-decade long war on terrorism, In Our Other Lives offers a nuanced portrayal of public and private lives and the way those lives intersect, disconnect, and become lost in translation with others. Different kinds of losses and invasions radiate through this novel and Wheeler reveals complexities of the human heart with subtle, beautiful prose that surprises as often as it delights. Engrossing, timely, and edifying, this is a novel to be read and re-read, to be treasured and remembered.”
-Kassandra Montag, author of After the Flood