Paperback eBook


PAGES: 256

TRIM SIZE: 5.5 x 8.25

ISBN: 978-1-61620-326-9

LIST PRICE: $14.95


Named an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, one of Book Riot’s 5 to Watch, and an iBookstore Editor’s Choice, this acclaimed novel is now in paperback.

Megumi, a young Japanese woman living in New York and hiding from her past, is hired to help rescue Thomas, an enigmatic, scarred man who has isolated himself in his bedroom for three years. With the tacit acceptance of Thomas’s wife, a passionate relationship develops between Megumi and Thomas. Its emotional impact and surprising conclusion will leave all three characters forever changed. Mirroring both East and West in its search for healing, The Rental Sister pierces the emotional walls of grief and delves into the power of human connection to break through to the world waiting outside.

Meet the author

Jeff Backhaus has been a cook, an art director, and a professional pilot. He lived and worked in Korea and now lives in New York. Author website: –


“A mesmerizing debut at once sorrowful, intimate, and optimistic . . . Told in crisp and lyrical prose and a nontraditional narrative that shifts between first- and third-person, Backhaus’s novel is courageous and spare, an enthralling success.” —Booklist, starred review

“[A] strange and tender debut novel . . . His writing, which is as clear and direct as flowing water, convincingly portrays the deepening connection between Thomas and Megumi.” —The Wall Street Journal

“This is one remarkable debut.” —The Toronto Star

“Tender and deftly rendered.” —Arkansas Democrat Gazette

“The book is . . . written deeply, cleanly, sparely and gently, like fingers playing over the strings of a harp. Jeff Backhaus has apparently worked at many jobs, but it seems that he has now found his vocation.” —St. Louis Post Dispatch

“Listen to the music of this novel closely. It is the sound of genius. To miss it would be to miss a story that will change the way you feel about your own life.” Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife

“Required reading.” —The New York Post