It's difficult not to love novels narrated in the first person by wise kids. Evelyn, the gifted young narrator of Lawrence author Laura Moriarty's first novel, The Center of Everything,gives the book its title, saying, "If you look at a map of the world, the United States is usually right in the middle, and Kansas is in the middle of that. So right here where we are, maybe this very stretch of highway we are driving on, is the exact center of the whole world, what everything else spirals out from." It's a statement of intent for an author who knows exactly where her feet are planted. From this firm grounding comes Moriarty's second novel. The Rest of Her Life hits the ground running with a depiction of the moments after a life-changing accident and its consequences for a family in a Kansas college town. There's a subtle showmanship, too, in its uncoiling of dread; Moriarty weaves suspense with a depth of insight about the unspoken emotional alliances and small slights that comprise ordinary family politics. With its deeper themes and emotional resonance, the book brings Moriarty's ambition into sharp focus.