An atmospheric, beautifully written and moving debut novel from a major new talent
Heather Clay is a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia University's School of the Arts. She has published short fiction in The New Yorker's debut fiction issue, and written for Parenting magazine. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two daughters. This is her first novel.
Clay's promising if uneven debut scrutinizes the complicated relationship between two very different sisters. Knox Bolling has always resented her beautiful sister, Charlotte, and blames Charlotte for her situation. She's 34, living on her parents' Kentucky horse farm and unable to commit to her boyfriend's repeated marriage proposals. Charlotte, on the other hand, has moved to New York City, where she dabbles in acting and holds a series of dead-end jobs before meeting money manager Bruce Tavert, who, after a brief courtship, proposes. Their intention to start a family, however, proves deadly for Charlotte, who dies in childbirth, leaving Bruce with premature twin boys and providing Knox with an opportunity to explore life outside of Kentucky by coming to New York to help Bruce. Things quickly get creepy as Knox tries out life as Charlotte, and the narrative takes on a stark gothic eeriness. New York is more difficult than Kentucky for Clay to nail down, and some of Knox's late-book behavior verges on Fatal Attraction-type obsession before backtracking into something just short of prudent uplift. It's a strange mix-not altogether unappealing, but not a knockout, either. (Mar.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
In her arresting debut, New Yorker contributor Clay tackles sibling relationships, familial bonds, duty, and honor. Readers meet two sisters with a strained relationship: Knox, who lives on her family's Kentucky horse farm, and Charlotte, who lives in New York City. When the unthinkable happens and Charlotte dies from a hemorrhage after childbirth, Knox leaves her comfortable, familiar life behind to help Charlotte's husband, Bruce, a virtual stranger, care for his twin sons. As they work together through grief, loss, and exhaustion, Knox finds a way to honor the sister she never really knew. Verdict Highly recommended for those who enjoy themes about family and sibling relationships and fans of women's fiction a la Elizabeth Berg, Anne Lamott, Alice Hoffman, and Jodi Picoult.-Shaunna Hunter, Hampden-Sydney Coll., VA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
"A moving debut from a writer of powerful descriptive range." * Daily Mail * "Heather Clay is a graceful and assured new writer with a great gift for character: the people in her fiction are as complex, beautiful and real as they are in life. Losing Charlotte is a spellbinding first novel." -- Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton "Clay expertly describes a world where the natural rhythm of nature is the basis of life - something that is important to the central character until her life is turned upside down when she loses her beloved sister, Charlotte" * No. 1! * "Bold and confident" * International Herald Tribune *