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When Rachel and Rubiat meet in art school, they are surprised by a sudden passion. But it is tested, right away, when Rubiat gives in to a reckless, self-destructive impulse that sets him adrift. Rachel has no choice but to resume her studies even though she doesn't know what happened to him or if he survived. After graduation, she moves to Queens, New York, where she begins a career as a painter while she supports herself by teaching ESL classes to immigrants. When she gets together with another man and things become serious, she realizes she can't go forward until she solves the mystery of Rubiat's disappearance. Told in shifting points of view, The Causative Factor explores the power of art and love in a story that asserts the complexities of human nature. 


The Causative Factor will be published on October 22, 2024. Pre-order available now.


Advance Praise for The Causative Factor:



"Suspenseful, original, and full of heart." Andrea Barrett, National Book Award winner, author of Natural History




"I couldn't stop turning the pages...A spellbinding novel." Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field



"Haunting, stirring, and bracingly romantic, this is a novel to fall head over heels for." Liam Callanan, author of When in Rome



"Megan Staffel writes as gorgeously and movingly about the psychological legacies that inform our choices as she does about the way in which art and a deep attunement to nature allows us to create ourselves anew." Marisa Silver, author of The Mysteries



"Staffel deftly weaves a startling, artful story of how to make a life."  Tara Deal, author of Life/Insurance



"Megan Staffel's The Causative Factor is a singular, exquisitely written story of love sundered by circumstance and misunderstanding." Peter Selgin, author of A Boy's Guide to Outer Space