The Summer Without Men
US & Canada Picador Books (April 2011, Ed. Frances Coady, 192 pages)
UK & Comm Sceptre (Ed. Carole Welch)
"A novelist of great intelligence." The Observer
Mia Fredrickson, the wry, vituperative, tragicomic poet narrator of The Summer Without Men has been forced to re-examine her own life.
One day, out of the blue, after thirty years of marriage, Mia's husband, a renowned neuroscientist, asks her for a 'pause'. This abrupt request sends her reeling and lands her in a psychiatric ward. The June following Mia's release from the hospital, she returns to the prairie town of her childhood, where her mother lives in an old people's home. Alone in a rented house, she rages and fumes and bemoans her sorry fate. Slowly, however, she is drawn into the lives of those around her - her mother and her close friends 'The Five Swans', and her young neighbour with two small children and a loud angry husband - and the adolescent girls in her poetry workshop whose scheming and petty cruelty carry a threat all their own.
From the internationally bestselling author of What I Loved comes a provocative, witty, and revelatory novel about women and girls, love and marriage, and the age-old question of sameness and difference between the sexes.