For thirty-eight years, Bartholomew Neil has lived with his mother. When she gets sick and dies, he has no idea how to be on his own. His redheaded grief counselor, Wendy, says he needs to find his flock and leave the nest. But how does a man whose whole life has been grounded in his mom, Saturday mass, and the library learn how to fly?
Bartholomew thinks he’s found a clue when he discovers a “Free Tibet” letter from Richard Gere hidden in his mother’s underwear drawer. In her final days, mom called him Richard—there must be a cosmic connection. Believing that the actor is meant to help him, Bartholomew awkwardly starts his new life, writing Richard Gere a series of highly intimate letters. Jung and the Dalai Lama, philosophy and faith, alien abduction and cat telepathy, the Catholic Church and the mystery of women are all explored in his soul-baring epistles. But mostly the letters reveal one man’s heartbreakingly earnest attempt to assemble a family of his own.
A struggling priest, a “Girlbrarian,” her feline-loving, foul-mouthed brother, and the spirit of Richard Gere join the quest to help Bartholomew. In a rented Ford Focus, they travel to Canada to see the cat Parliament and find his biological father . . . and discover so much more.
“I loved this book. . . .Funny, heartbreaking and clever with a mystery at its heart.” -Jojo Moyes
“With an eye as keen for human idiosyncrasies as Miranda July’s, and a sense of humor as bright and surprising as Maria Semple’s, this is a novel of pure velocity.” -Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Twenty years ago, Abigail Sorenson’s brother Robert went missing one day before her sixteenth birthday, never to be seen again. That same year, she began receiving scattered chapters in the mail of a self-help manual, the Guidebook, whose anonymous author promised to make her life soar to heights beyond her wildest dreams.
The Guidebook’s missives have remained a constant in Abi’s life—a befuddling yet oddly comforting voice through her family’s grief over her brother’s disappearance, a move across continents, the devastating dissolution of her marriage, and the new beginning as a single mother and café owner in Sydney.
Now, two decades after receiving those first pages, Abi is invited to an all-expenses paid weekend retreat to learn “the truth” about the Guidebook. It’s an opportunity too intriguing to refuse. If Everything is Connected, then surely the twin mysteries of the Guidebook and a missing brother must be linked?
What follows is completely the opposite of what Abi expected––but it will lead her on a journey of discovery that will change her life––and enchant readers. Gravity Is the Thing is a smart, unusual, wickedly funny novel about the search for happiness that will break your heart into a million pieces and put it back together, bigger and better than before.
Is there any father worse than Abraham?
Are there any unhappier families than the first family of Genesis?
In the follow-up to his acclaimed debut, The Bend of the World, Jacob Bacharach enlivens these existential questions in a madcap tale that replaces the biblical Ur with New York City, the land of Canaan with the rust-belt river valleys of western Pennsylvania. Told in a comic voice that Sam Lipsyte once called "shrewd, deadpan, and dirty," The Doorposts of Your House and on Your Gates hilariously transposes the biblical story of our first patriarchs into a modern world even madder than the ancient Middle East.
Fleeing from a failed relationship, Isabel Giordani leaves Manhattan for Pittsburgh to accept a job at the underachieving nonprofit Future Cities Institute and insinuates herself into the aimless lives of Isaac Mayer and his father, Abbie. An architect turned crooked real estate developer, Abbie claims to be chasing after an unexpected heavenly vision—one that inevitably embroils the Mayer family within the political and familial machinations of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Bacharach explores the perpetually fraught themes of love, family, God, and real estate in an irreverent and unnervingly tender tale that Edan Lepucki celebrates as "simultaneously funny and tragic, sacred and profane…wise and clever from the first page to the last."