“[O’Nan’s] finest and deepest novel to date . . . The action rises and ebbs with the rhythms of daily lifemeals, swimming, after-dinner videos, the children’s bedtime. . . . The general absence of melodrama allows O’Nan to focus on the characters, and he draws them with sympathy and subtlety, especially the women.” Ruth Franklin, The New York Times Book Review
Wish You Were Here
978-0-8021-3989-4 • $14.00 • Paperback • May 2003
Award-winning writer Stewart O’Nan has been acclaimed by critics as one of the most accomplished novelists writing today. Now comes “his most complete work to date, filled with the type of life lessons that the best fiction has to offer and from an author firmly in control of his art” (Rob Stout, Orlando Sentinel). A year after the death of her husband, Henry, Emily Maxwell gathers her family by Lake Chautauqua in western New York for what will be a last vacation at their summer cottage. Joining is her sister-in-law, who silently mourns the sale of the lake house, and a long-lost love. Emily’s firebrand daughter, a recovering alcoholic recently separated from her husband, brings her children from Detroit. Emily’s son, who has quit his job and mortgaged his future to pursue his art, comes accompanied by his children and his wife, who is secretly heartened to be visiting the house for the last time.
Memories of past summers resurface, old rivalries flare up, and love is rekindled and born anew, resulting in a timeless novel that “succeeds beautifully . . . showcases some of the finest character studies a contemporary reader could ask for” (Cynthia Dockrell, The Boston Globe).