How To Fall Out Of Love Madly
Three women confront the compromises they’ve made to appease the men they love in this razor-sharp, emotionally resonant novel from an author who “makes a particular female experience vivid, centered, seen” (Elle)
Joy and Annie are friends and roommates whose thirty-something lives aren’t exactly what they’d imagined. To make ends meet, they decide to rent their extra bedroom to Theo, who charms Joy with his salt-and-pepper hair and adoration of their one-eyed cat. When Annie goes to live with her boyfriend, Theo and Joy settle into a comfortable domesticity. Then Theo brings home Celine, the girlfriend he’s never mentioned, who is possibly the most stunning woman Joy has ever seen. Joy resolves to do whatever it takes to hold on to him, falling ever deeper into an emotional hellscape of her own making. She is too obsessed to realize that Celine’s beauty doesn’t protect her from pain. Haunted by an event from her past, Celine can’t escape her shame and finds herself in an endless cycle of self-sabotage.
Annie is baffled by Joy’s senseless devotion to Theo, but she’s consumed by her own obsessions: she can’t stop parsing her commitment-phobic boyfriend’s texts in an exhausting mission to maintain his approval. At work, where she fully embraces her natural assertiveness, Annie is a star. But when an anonymous letter lands on her desk accusing her esteemed and supportive boss of sexual misconduct, she is forced to decide who and what she’s willing to stand up for.
Perceptive, mordantly funny, and full of heart, How to Fall Out of Love Madly examines women’s many relationships—with one another, their mothers, their work, men, and themselves—to reveal their underlying power and complexity. It asks, why do so many smart, compassionate, otherwise empowered women tolerate egregious behavior from the men they love? And what will it take for them to reclaim control?
The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky
Kirkus Reviews, “11 Debuts You Need to Pay Attention To”
We first meet Leda in a coffee shop on an average afternoon, notable only for the fact that it’s the single occasion in her life when she will eat two scones in one day. And for the cute boy reading American Power and the New Mandarins. Leda hopes that, by engaging him, their banter will lead to romance. Their fleeting, awkward exchange stalls before flirtation blooms. But Leda’s left with one imperative thought: she decides she wants to read Noam Chomsky. So she promptly buys a book and never—ever—reads it.
As the days, years, and decades of the rest of her life unfold, we see all of the things Leda does instead, from eating leftover spaghetti in her college apartment, to fumbling through the first days home with her newborn daughter, to attempting (and nearly failing) to garden in her old age. In a collage of these small moments, we see the work—both visible and invisible—of a woman trying to carve out a life of meaning. Over the course of her experiences Leda comes to the universal revelation that the best-laid-plans are not always the path to utter fulfillment and contentment, and in reality there might be no such thing. Lively and disarmingly honest, The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky is a remarkable literary feat—bracingly funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and truly feminist in its insistence that the story it tells is an essential one.