Katie Hafner (Author)
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Description"Hafner's taut and utterly delightful debut is a novel of multitudes.... What a wonder of storytelling."--Weike Wang, New York Times
New York Times Editor's Choice Good Morning America Reading Pick LitHub Most Anticipated Book Christian Science Monitor Summer Reading Pick
A delicious summer read filled with humor and surprise for readers of Anne Tyler and Kevin Wilson.When introverted Ethan Fawcett marries fun-loving Barb, so comfortable in the world, he has every reason to believe he will be delivered from a lifetime of solitude. She fills his world with a sense of adventure, expanding his horizons beyond his comfortable routine. To ease Ethan's fears of becoming a father, Barb suggests they foster two young brothers, Tommy and Sam, and Ethan immediately falls in love with the boys.When the pandemic hits, he becomes obsessed with providing a perfect life for them. But instead of bringing Barb and Ethan closer together, the boys become a wedge in their relationship, as Ethan is unable to share with Barb a secret that has been haunting him since childhood. Then Ethan takes Tommy and Sam on a biking trip in Italy, and it becomes clear just how unusual Ethan and his boys are.
Spiegel & Grau
May 02, 2023
5.4 X 8.2 X 0.8 inches | 0.62 pounds
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About the Author
Katie Hafner is a journalist and author who writes frequently for The New York Times and The Washington Post. She is the author of six non-fiction books including Mother Daughter Me, a memoir; A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano; Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet (with Matthew Lyon). She is host and co-executive producer of the popular podcast, Lost Women of Science. The Boys is her first novel. She lives in San Francisco.
"Katie Hafner's taut and utterly delightful debut is a novel of multitudes. It is travel escapism, a family drama, a character study, social commentary on pandemic isolation and an incredible journey back to center. We are emerging from a period of forced introversion, and The Boys provides the perfect antidote. ... There is a surprise at the center of this book, so original and unusual that I stopped pushing forward for a day to reread the first half again and check for inconsistency. Hafner doesn't miss a beat. ... I will just say this: What a wonder of storytelling. I will be thinking of these boys for a long time to come."--Weike Wang, New York Times Book Review"Clever, skillfully crafted ... a laugh-out-loud delight to read .... Also a poignant exploration of loneliness and the ways trauma survivors can go to extraordinary lengths to avoid facing their psychic wounds."--San Francisco Chronicle"Think of Katie Hafner as Anne Tyler, but much weirder.... Hafner is a smart, funny observer of human foibles and in Ethan she has created a character so endearing that it would not be a surprise if this debut novel led to a career with Tyler's longevity."--Minneapolis Star Tribune"Hafner makes a splash with her debut novel thanks to one stunning twist. No spoilers here, but this story about the bubbly Barb, her wallflower husband, Ethan, and the 8-year-old twins they decide to foster is a funny, poignant meditation on a timely topic: loneliness. It's also nearly impossible to put down."--Philadelphia Tribune"Remarkable .... Starting out as a lighthearted romance before taking an unsettling turn...upends expectations in the best way."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)"A breeze to read, with characters who feel alive."--San Diego Magazine"Tender and emotionally intelligent ... An audacious feat of narrative bravado."--Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go Bernadette"The Boys is utterly charming ― one of the most delightful books I have read in ages. As we bike through Italy's little villages with introvert Ethan Fawcett, stopping to drink a caffè shakerato as church bells ring in a mournful E flat, what we see around us is the wide and beautiful horizon of the human heart. I absolutely loved this little miracle of a book."--Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Postmistress of Paris"This is a treat-yourself read, the tale of an endearing human on a hilariously misguided quest for love and connection, in the delight-filled tradition of Anne Tyler. But Hafner bakes a surprise into the center of her confection-- a glorious, mind-blowing twist that propels the story to unexpected heights and depths. With exquisite compassion and humor, this novel leaves its readers deeply nourished, heart, mind, and soul."--Debra Jo Immergut, author of You Again and The Captives"Unexpectedly funny, touching, disarming--The Boys got under my skin from the very first page. Hafner is a wry and wise explorer of the secrets buried deep in our most intimate relationships. This novel will stay with me for a long time."--Laura Zigman, author of Separation Anxiety"Journalist and author Hafner's fiction debut is a striking entry to relationship fiction that is timely and optimistic. ... With beautifully rendered characters and rich language, this is a treat, especially for fans of Anne Tyler and Elizabeth Berg."--Booklist