The Sunshine When She’s Gone
By Thea Goodman
Published by Henry Holt and Company
Hardcover: 240 pages
March 5, 2013; $24.00 US/$27.50 CAN; 9780805096620
A Bold and Funny Novel About Trust and Love
One frigid, January morning in Manhattan, a new father, racked by sleep deprivation, decides to let his wife sleep in — then spontaneously flees lower Manhattan with the baby for a weekend in the Caribbean. It wasn’t a kidnapping, he wasn’t leaving his wife; he just wanted to spend a little time with the baby and give his wife a break. When the wife awakes, truly rested for the first time in nearly a year, she feels great — and embarks on a city adventure as misguided in its own way as her husband’s impulsive escape.
Told from the couple’s alternating points of view, the story unfolds across one life-changing long weekend. The wife tries to recapture who she was before the baby. The husband struggles to care for his daughter — far from the special homemade formula and high-end diapers she requires. Parenting had seemed like such a doable idea — until they tried to do it. Lucky, highly educated Americans, this couple barely survives making the first real sacrifice of their lives. But survive they do, in a hilarious, touching, tour de force debut about passion, ambivalence, and love.
Thea Goodman, author of The Sunshine When She’s Gone, has received the Columbia Fiction Award, a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and fellowships at Yaddo and Ragdale; her short stories have appeared in several journals, notably New England Review, Other Voices and Columbia. Born in New York City, she studied at Sarah Lawrence and earned her MFA from Brooklyn College, CUNY. She has taught writing at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, and lives in Chicago with her husband and children.
For more information please visit http://www.theagoodman.
“Thea Goodman’s astute debut novel poses the question, What if you were to step out of your imbedded life? And her discerning mind answers it with a tale of Manhattanites more inextricably bound together than they might imagine.”
— Susan Minot, author of Evening
“From its first alarming domestic scene to its far-from-inevitable, unbearably true conclusion, The Sunshine When She’s Gone is a faultless portrait of a marriage in crisis and the precarious paths we all must take to keep our lives in balance. Ever been in love? This book will shake you, jolt you, jar you, and wake you up to life.”
— Patrick Somerville, author of The Cradle and This Bright River
“Thea Goodman has made something I would’ve thought impossible: an edge-of-your-seat narrative about parenting a small child. Her emotional investment in her characters is complete as they confront each other, themselves, and the heavy weight of new love.”
— Nell Freudenberger, author of The Newlyweds
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