The Myth of You and Me: A Novel

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Searingly honest, beautiful, and full of fragile urgency, The Myth of You and Me is a celebration and portrait of a friendship that will appeal to anyone who still feels the absence of that first true friend.

When Cameron was fifteen, Sonia was her best friend—no one could come between them. Now Cameron is a twenty-nine-year-old research assistant with no meaningful ties to anyone except her aging boss, noted historian Oliver Doucet.

When an unexpected letter arrives from Sonia ten years after the incident that ended their friendship, Cameron doesn’t reply, despite Oliver’s urging. But then he passes away, and Cameron discovers that he has left her with one final task: to track down Sonia and hand-deliver a mysterious package to her. Now without a job, a home, and a purpose, Cameron decides to honor his request, setting off on the road to find this stranger who was once her inseparable other half.

The Myth of You and Me, the story of Cameron and Sonia’s friendship—as intense as any love affair—and its dramatic demise, captures the universal sense of loss and nostalgia that often lingers after the end of an important relationship.
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About the author

Leah Stewart is the critically acclaimed author of The New Neighbor, The History of Us, Husband and Wife, The Myth of You and Me, and Body of a Girl. She received her BA from Vanderbilt University, and her MFA from the University of Michigan. The recipient of a Sachs Fund prize and an NEA Literature Fellowship, she teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Cincinnati and lives in Cincinnati with her husband and two children. Visit her at leahstewart.com.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown
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Published on
Sep 20, 2005
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9780307337481
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Psychological
Fiction / Women
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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In the tradition of Zoe Heller’s What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal, The New Neighbor is “a chilling page-turner” (People) with “simple, elegant language” (The New York Times Book Review) about an old woman’s curiosity turned into a dangerous obsession as she becomes involved in her mysterious new neighbor’s complicated life.

How much can you really know about the woman next door?

Ninety-year-old Margaret Riley is content hiding from the world. Stoic and independent, she rarely leaves the Tennessee mountaintop where she lives, finding comfort in the mystery novels that keep her company—until she spots a woman who’s moved into the long-empty house across the pond.

Her neighbor, Jennifer Young, is also looking to hide. On the run from her old life, she and her four-year-old son, Milo, have moved to a quiet town where no one from her past can find her.

In Jennifer, Margaret sees both a potential companion for her loneliness and a mystery to be solved. She thinks if she says the right thing, tells the right story, Jennifer will open up, but Jennifer refuses to talk about herself, her son, his missing father, or her past. Frustrated, Margaret crosses more and more boundaries in pursuit of the truth, threatening to unravel the new life Jennifer has so painstakingly created—and reveal some secrets of her own…

From the critically acclaimed author of The History of Us and The Myth of You and Me, The New Neighbor is “a promising exploration of the secrets we all carry and our refusal to forgive ourselves” (Publishers Weekly).
Lily is haunted by memories–of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.

In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu (“women’s writing”). Some girls were paired with laotongs, “old sames,” in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.

With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become “old sames” at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship.

BONUS: This edition contains an excerpt from Lisa See's Peony in Love.
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