The Causative Factor

Regal House Titles
$18.95 - $28.95
Current Stock:

Expected release date is 21st Oct 2024

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 supporting 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.

Praise for The Causative Factor

“Suspenseful, original, and full of heart, this novel gripped me from the first page and continued to surprise me throughout. What does it mean to make a life, to make art, to make a life making art? I’ll always remember these characters and their complex paths.”

—Andrea Barrett, National Book Award winner, Natural History

“I couldn’t stop turning the pages of Megan Staffel’s The Causative Factor. Her characters are so vivid and so complicated and their lives are full of exhilarating surprises as they try to shape the future and negotiate the past. A spellbinding novel.”

—Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in the Field

“Early on in Megan Staffel’s beautiful new book, there’s talk of art that ‘proves the extraordinary is out and about in the world.’ The Causative Factor is just that proof. 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 allow us to create ourselves anew. Staffel tells us that ‘the smallest acts matter’ and in this astute and embracing novel, she shows us the ways in which a dab of paint on a canvas, or the movement of water in a stream, can change lives.”

—Marisa Silver, author of The Mysteries

“Megan Staffel’s compelling new novel follows Rachel and Rubiat as they embark on a project that lasts long past college. As desires collide, splinter, and realign, 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

The Causative Factor is a beautifully written look at the psychological factors that shape us into the people we ultimately become. Although the story is somewhat redemptive, this is not a happily-ever-after tale. Instead, The Causative Factor is a troubling love story about lingering pain and what it means to find peace after a traumatic experience.”

The Indypendent [read the full review]

“With powerful writing, this novel delves into the two primary characters’ underlying motives and conflicts. They are both fully alive, complex, and sympathetic human beings.”

—Story Circle [read the full review]