It’s 1997 and Casey has ended up back in Massachusetts after a ruinous devastating love affair. Her mother has just died and she is knocked sideways by grief and loneliness, moving between the restaurant where she waitresses for the Harvard elite and the rented shed she calls home. Her one constant is the novel she has been writing for six years, but at 31 she’s in debt and directionless, and feels too old to be that way - “It’s strange, to not be the youngest kind of adult anymore.”
Now, we know that synopsis might not scream funny or romantic but trust us, this book is, as well as intelligent, affirming and wise. It’s a rare kind of novel that is at once unputdownable and that also elicits a deeply pensive mood. Oh and it completely nails the near impossible task of writing well about writing.
If the cover isn’t doing things for you, look up the American version which we think brings more of a vibe. And don’t just take our word that this is the book you need to be reading right now, it also happens to be Ann Patchett’s quarantine pick.
A few links if you want to go deeper...
- NPR Review
- Washington Post Review
- The New York Times Review
- Politics and Prose Video Interview
- Bomb Magazine Print Interview