The Done Thing: A Book Club Recommendation!

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In the tradition of Olive Kitteridge and The Woman Upstairs, this “deeply human and morally saturated novel” (Library Journal, starred review) explores how a terrible crime changed one woman’s life forever.

Lida Stearl prides herself on always do the right thing—it has served her well throughout her life as she built a career as an orthodontist, maintained a happy marriage, and raised her young niece after the murder of her sister by her brother-in-law, Clarence Lusk. But now that she’s widowed, retired, and an empty nester, the small perfections of her orderly life aren’t enough to stop her from feeling adrift.

Then a well-intentioned birthday gift leads her to discover that Clarence, on death row for his crime, is seeking pen pals from the outside as he prepares for his final appeal. For the first time in her life, Lida crosses a line—she begins to write him, pretending to be a naïve, flirtatious twenty-three year old, in an effort to seek retribution. As letters pass steadily between Lida and Clarence, her obsession with revenge unfolds and she begins to question her morality.

The Done Thing is an utterly memorable and engrossing exploration of forgiveness, loyalty, and justice, and how a tragic event can suddenly change a life’s course.
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About the author

Tracy Manaster is a graduate of Wesleyan University and The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her earliest ambition was to be a balloon seller in Central Park, followed by dreams of being a whitewater guide on the Green River, and then an archaeologist; now, she writes. Her family plays an elaborate, ritualized card game involving maracas, she will share the secret to a perfect blueberry pie with anyone who asks, and she spends way too much time trying to map a road trip that hits each National Park during its most beautiful season. She is the author of the novels You Could Be Home By Now and The Done Thing. Tracy lives in Portland, OR with her husband and twin daughters.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Nov 4, 2016
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781440596735
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / General
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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*Real Simple “Best Books of June”
*Refinery29 “Best Beach Reads of 2017”
*Bustle “17 Best Debut Novels by Women in 2017”

In the tradition of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Genova, this gorgeously written, heartbreaking, yet hopeful debut set during a Maine summer traces the lives of a young family in the aftermath of tragedy.

In the coastal town of Alden, Maine, Hope and Jack Kelly have settled down to a life of wedded bliss. They have a beautiful family, a growing lobster business, and the Salt House—the dilapidated oceanfront cottage they’re renovating into their dream home. But tragedy strikes when their young daughter doesn’t wake up from her afternoon nap, taking her last breath without making a sound.

A year later, each member of the Kelly family navigates the world on their own private island of grief. Hope spends hours staring at her daughter’s ashes, unable to let go. Jack works to the point of exhaustion in an attempt to avoid his crumbling marriage. Their daughters, Jess and Kat, struggle to come to terms with the loss of their younger sister while watching their parents fall apart.

When Jack’s old rival, Ryland Finn, threatens his fishing territory, he ignites emotions that propel the Kelly family toward circumstances that will either tear them apart—or be the path to their family’s future.

Told in alternating voices, The Salt House is a layered, emotional portrait of marriage, family, friendship, and the complex intersections of love, grief, and hope.
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