Reading someone else's e-mail is a quiet, clean enterprise. There is no pitter-pattering around the room, no opening and closing the desk drawers, no percussive creasing as you draw the paper from the envelope and unfold it... In and out of the files, no trace. It could be the work of a ghost, this electronic eavesdropping.Seventeen-year-old Henry Shaw learns of his mother's passionate affair when he stumbles across her e-mail correspondence with her lover. His image of her is shattered, but he cannot resist his electronic eavesdropping. Henry's younger sister, Elvira, is scornful of technology, stuck as she is in 1862 with her Civil War infantry regiment. For Elvira, much to her mother's sorrow and her historian father's pride, is a hardcore Civil War re-enactor. Displaced from Vermont to Chicago, each member of the Shaw family finds their dreams hard to realize and their expectations of life turned on their head. Disobedience is a compassionate, sharp, wicked and utterly contemporary novel about families, love and loyalty by a major literary talent.