How the Light Gets In: A Novel (Hardcover)

How the Light Gets In: A Novel By Joyce Maynard Cover Image
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From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard comes the eagerly anticipated follow-up to her beloved novel Count the Ways—a complex story of three generations of a family and its remarkable, resilient, indomitable matriarch, Eleanor.

Following the death of her former husband, Cam, fifty-four-year-old Eleanor has moved back to the New Hampshire farm where they raised three children to care for their brain-injured son, Toby, now an adult. Toby’s older brother, Al, is married and living in Seattle with his wife; their sister, Ursula, lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Although all appears stable, old resentments, anger, and bitterness simmer just beneath the surface.

How the Light Gets In follows Eleanor and her family through fifteen years (2010 to 2024) as their story plays out against a uniquely American backdrop and the events that transform their world (climate change, the January 6th insurrection, school violence) and shape their lives (later-life love, parental alienation, steadfast friendship). With her trademark sensitivity and insight, Joyce Maynard paints an indelible portrait of characters both familiar and new making their way over rough, messy, and treacherous terrain to find their way to what is, for each, a place to call “home.”

About the Author

Joyce Maynard is the author of twelve previous novels and five books of nonfiction, as well as the syndicated column, “Domestic Affairs.” Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into sixteen languages. Her novels To Die For and Labor Day were both adapted for film. Maynard divides her time between homes in California, New Hampshire, and Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.

Praise For…

“If ever we needed a novel capable of healing our troubled, world-weary souls, that time is now. But where, oh where, is the book? Actually, it has arrived: Joyce Maynard’s new novel, How the Light Gets In. And what a gift it is.”
Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls and the North Bath Trilogy of Fool novels

“Joyce Maynard has stitched together a warm, rich patchwork quilt of a novel that reminds us history is made up simply of our stories; and that even in broken, imperfect things one finds beauty and strength.” — Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Joyce Maynard’s How the Light Gets In grabbed ahold of me in the first chapter and didn’t let go until I’d finished the epilogue. A master storyteller at the top of her game, Maynard populates her story with characters I worried about, rooted for, and related to. I LOVED this book!" — Wally Lamb, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“In How the Light Gets In, Joyce Maynard casts her clear eye over all we have endured thus far in our still-young century, illustrating as she does just how we have endured it: through bumbling luck and enduring love, hope, persistence, the consolations of nature, the comfort of daily work. A novel that understands how grace accrues over time in families, making the past bearable, the future possible. A wise and lovely book.” — Alice McDermott, National Book Award-winning author

“In turns joyful and heartbreaking, How the Light Gets In is a wise and bittersweet portrait of a complicated family. Joyce Maynard writes the kind of books that readers adore – bighearted, beautifully crafted, propulsively readable, and full of flawed and fickle characters who make difficult decisions and big mistakes, stumbling through life and love, trying to do their best. A word of advice: clear your calendar before you start reading!”
Adrienne Brodeur, nationally bestselling author of Little Monsters and Wild Game

How the Light Gets In feels like a conversation with a trusted sister about a wide circle of family members in order to discover their secrets and hopes. The story of Eleanor and her family is told in marvelous loops that fill in the gaps between the past and the present, the personal and the news of the day, difficult challenges and their remedies. Joyce Maynard has given us another generous, satisfying novel: she is a wonder.” — Alice Elliott Dark, author of Fellowship Point and In the Gloaming

“Readers will appreciate this sweeping and heart-wrenching family story in the mode of Elizabeth Berg and Anna Quindlen.” — Booklist

“[A] heartwarming chronicle of a woman coping with changes in her life and in the country. . . . Maynard’s punchy chapters highlight pivotal moments in her characters’ lives, and she holds readers’ interest by showing how their relationships evolve.” — Publishers Weekly

“A stirring, satisfying sequel to Count the Ways . . . . This ample narrative is arranged into tasty vignettes with appealing, sometimes funny subtitles, making it a pleasure to digest. Everything this great American author’s fans are looking for.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Wonderfully absorbing, precise and emotionally astute . . .I was moved by the characters' ambivalences, their misgivings, their anger, but most of all by their complex and fascinating love."  — Marisa Silver, New York Times bestselling author of The Mysteries, on Count the Ways

“A fearlessly candid, heartrendingly forthright examination of the joys and terrors of family life from the perspective of a woman of unusual sensitivity and empathy, Count the Ways takes us on a memorable journey.” — Joyce Carol Oates

“Joyce Maynard is the queen of the family saga, and Count the Ways is the best! Instantly addicting, the story of Eleanor, Cam, and their children pulls you in and wraps itself around you like an heirloom quilt made of familiarity, intimacy, and the orchestral complexity of loving the people closest to us. This is the novel you’ll be longing to return to at the end of every day and one you will re-read for years to come.” — Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family

“Cut[s] across moments of national and personal upheaval to examine the complex web of family against the backdrop of history.” — New York Times Book Review on Count the Ways

"The novel bites off a lot—a Brett Kavanaugh–inspired storyline, a domestic abuse situation, a trans child, Eleanor's career—and manages to resolve them all. . . Maynard creates a world rich and real enough to hold the pain she fills it with." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Count the Ways

“How did Maynard know that this is exactly the book we all need now? This exhilaratingly brilliant novel isn’t just an indelible story of the falling dominoes of a family struggling through crisis and through generations, it’s also about the times we live through. . . . This gorgeous story reminds us that love is always, always worth it.” — Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You     

Count the Ways is an extraordinarily generous invitation into a woman’s intimate life, from the loneliness of her youth to the earned wisdom of middle age. In this richly imagined novel, Maynard never flinches as she portrays both quiet successes and heartbreaking failures at love, marriage, and motherhood. This is the work of one of our great storytellers.” — Meredith Hall, New York Times bestselling author of Beneficence

"Sensitively plumbing the complexity of human emotions, of love and forgiveness, [Maynard] draws readers into a deep, aching attachment to her characters, creating an ultimately hopeful tale just right for this moment." Booklist (starred review)

“Readers will sink into Maynard’s masterful portrait of one woman’s life in this decades-spanning family saga.” — Library Journal (starred review)

“Joyce Maynard has, again, managed to tap flawlessly into the voice of a teenage girl: part hope, part fiction, and all heart. After Her is page-turning mystery, wrapped in a beautifully rendered story of sisterhood; and reading it is a journey through one’s own memory of what it meant to be thirteen, when the world was equally terrifying and fascinating. Books this compelling just don’t come around very often.” — Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author on After Her

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062398307
ISBN-10: 006239830X
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: June 25th, 2024
Pages: 432
Language: English