In this laugh-out-loud, heartbreaking, generous family novel, Jim Kokoris returns to the heartfelt writing of The Rich Part of Life. It's Nice Outside explores that universal tension between being a parent and keeping true to yourself.
Amy Joy Lawler, the last of Mattagash, Maine's founding clan, just announced her engagement to Jean Claude Cloutier-an outsider! Now the typically tranquil backcountry town is buzzing with the news and everyone is gleefully anticipating the social event of the year.
As the guests roll in, Amy Joy's scandalized mother takes to bed in protest, the no-good Giffords plot to steal the wedding gifts and hubcaps, and motel owner Albert Pinkham devises new schemes to fill his cash register.
Meanwhile, on hearing the news, Amy Joy's aunt downstate plots to return to Mattagash for good against her husband's wishes, while her son carries on an affair with an Elizabeth Taylor look-alike behind the back of his Valium-addicted wife.
When this volatile assortment gathers in church on the big day, hilarious and wacky results ensue.
At once funny, insightful, and heartbreaking, A Wedding on the Banks is a perfect for fans of Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout), The Language of Flowers (Vanessa Diffenbaugh), and The Good House (Ann Leary) who will fall in love with Mattagash and its people.
More from Mattagash, Maine:
The Funeral Makers (Book 1): Mattagash, Maine: a quiet town rocked by scandal, seduction, mayhem, blackmail, and the only recorded case of beriberi on the entire North American continent!
Wedding on the Banks (Book 2)
The Weight of Winter (Book 3): Surviving the winter will be hard; dealing with each other is another story.
The One-Way Bridge (Book 4): Return to Mattagash-the anything but tranquil town where a mysterious dead body has just been found in the woods.
"a riot, so very funny and also sad."
"This book combines humor and true heartbreak in ways that few authors are capable of."What reviewers are saying about A Wedding on the Banks
"When these folks get together, the resulting mix of zany comedy, pathos, and sense of place makes worthwhile reading."-Library Journal
"As downright knee-slapping, laugh-out-loud a novel as I've read."-Washington Post Book Review
"A hilarious, high-spirited, it's-great-to-be-alive hoot of a novel."-Newsday
"A generous and genuine entertainment."-New YorkerWhat people are saying about Cathie Pelletier
"Cathie Pelletier generates the sort of excitement that only writers at the very top of their form can provide."-Stephen King
"Nobody walks the knife-edge of hilarity and heartbreak more confidently than Cathie Pelletier."— Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls
"It is Pelletier's gift to be able to coax the drama from stony ground without artifice or sentimentality."-Boston Globe
"An ambitious, fearless novelist."-The Washington Post
"Cathie does a wonderful job of capturing [her characters'] moods and loves and losses, and yearnings...Her writing is lovely and so descriptive"— Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT
"Sharp stuff...Her sentences are powerful and unique as snowflakes."-New York Times
Butternut Lake is so beautiful at Christmas—from the delightfully decorated shops, to the cozy homes with their twinkling lights outside, to the lake itself. And this year so much is happening!
A wedding: Caroline meticulously plans her perfect Christmastime dream wedding to Jack, remarrying him after many years apart.
A baby: Allie and Walker are expecting the best Christmas gift of all—their first baby together.
A reunion: Daisy, Caroline and Jack's daughter, is returning home after a long semester away at college.
But what's Christmas without complications? Walker smothers Allie with worry; Daisy pines for her true love, Will, away in the army. And then the unthinkable happens—and Caroline's wedding plans are ruined.
And just when it seems all is lost, the people of Butternut Lake come together to give their friends the greatest gifts of all. . . .
From the acclaimed author of The Grief of Others and 2019's searing new novel Strangers and Cousins.
At the edge of a woods, on the grounds of a defunct “free school,” Ava and her brother, Fred, shared a dreamy and seemingly idyllic childhood—a world defined largely by their imaginations and each other’s presence. Everyone is aware of Fred’s oddness or vague impairment, but his parents’ fierce disapproval of labels keeps him free of evaluation or intervention, and constantly at Ava’s side.
Decades later, then, when Ava learns that her brother is being held in a county jail for a shocking crime, she is frantic to piece together what actually happened. A boy is dead. But could Fred really have done what he is accused of? As she is drawn deeper into the details of the crime, Ava becomes obsessed with learning the truth, convinced that she and she alone will be able to reach her brother and explain him—and his innocence—to the world.
Leah Hager Cohen brings her trademark intelligence to a psychologically gripping, richly ambiguous story that suggests we may ultimately understand one another best not with facts alone, but through our imaginations.
From the acclaimed author of No Book but the World and 2019's searing new novel Strangers and Cousins.
The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. Struggling to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and for their two older children, they find themselves pretending not only that little has changed, but that their marriage, their family, have always been intact. Yet in the aftermath of the baby's death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface. A dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future.
The couple's children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely- perhaps courageously-idiosyncratic ways. But as the four family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they all find themselves growing more alert to the sadness and burdens of others-to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.
Moving, psychologically acute, and gorgeously written, The Grief of Others asks how we balance personal autonomy with the intimacy of relationships, how we balance private decisions with the obligations of belonging to a family, and how we take measure of our own sorrows in a world rife with suffering. This novel shows how one family, by finally allowing itself to experience the shared quality of grief, is able to rekindle tenderness and hope.