Two young women who've dated the same man navigate love, destiny, loss, and choice in this powerful debut.
Anna Riley and Anne Cavanaugh have had a lover in common, but it's not until a pivotal moment in one of their lives that their paths unforgettably converge. "Beautiful and connected in unexpected ways...." (Jodi Angel), the linked stories in So Much a Part of You "read like whispered secrets." (Scott Nadelson)
Peter Herring was the center of Anne's universe in college, and now, a few years later, he's become the center of Anna's, and merely a minor player in his ex-girlfriend's world. That is, until Peter and Anna are invited into Anne's parents' home to visit with her dying mother, and he finds himself drawn back into her orbit. Years later, when her own mother is dying, Anna will find herself yearning to reach out to Anne, with whom she had shared such a brief but intimate bond, and find solace in that moment from long ago.
Perspective evolves with time, and so with time, what Peter means to each woman-as lover, as friend, as connection to the past-also evolves. Through exploring Anne's and Anna's ties to Peter and unfolding the narratives of the people who weave meaningfully in and out of their lives, Polly Dugan reveals the power of family secrets, the ripple effects of her characters' emotional choices, and how poignantly their intertwined relationships shape who they are and how they love.
Possessing that rare ability to write the sweep of emotion with tenderness, Polly Dugan invites readers to witness the moments that define her characters-the moments that come back full circle to comfort or haunt them, or both. So Much a Part of You will break your heart and still have you asking for more.
About the author
Polly Dugan lives in Portland and is a reader at Tin House magazine. A former employee of Powell's Books, she is an alumna of the Tin House Writers Workshop. Dugan's first published story, "A Matter of Time," was Line Zero's Spring 2012 Literary Contest Winner, "Masquerades" (as "One At a Time"), was Narrative's Story of the Week (December 2012), and "Kitten Season" was an Honorable Mention Recipient in Glimmer Train's Short Story Award for New Writers (August 2009).
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