The Possibilities

Kaui Hart Hemmings, Author
Kaui Hart Hemmings. Simon & Schuster, $25 (288p) ISBN 978-1-4767-2579-6
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4767-2581-9
Book - 978-1-4423-6824-8
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-1-4767-2580-2
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-0-224-10179-0
Hardcover - 429 pages - 978-1-4104-6990-8
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A grieving mother tries to make peace with her son’s death in this wry and heartwarming second novel from the author of The Descendants. Sarah St. John, a talk show host in the seasonal ski town of Breckenridge, Colo., is devastated when her 22-year-old son, Cully, is killed by an avalanche. She seeks solace in an unorthodox support group: her impolitic father, who lives with her; her best friend, Suzanne, whose own divorce occupies her attention; and Billy, Cully’s father, whose distance from Sarah’s life diminishes as they grieve for their son together. On the cusp of emotional recovery, Sarah and her family are thrown again when they meet a young woman whose story raises new questions about Cully’s life. With a deft and dry humor, Hemmings tackles the unique and unexpectedly humorous ways in which one is expected to mourn: a woman in town whose son died in a similar accident asks Sarah to join Parents Against Avalanche Disaster, “as if by not joining PAAD you were promoting avalanche disaster.” But, on closer inspection, the novel is a treatise on parenthood: Sarah struggles less with Cully’s death, and more with the fear that she never really knew him at all. “What’s the point of everything parents do,” she asks herself, “if the kids aren’t going to employ us?” Agent: David Forrer, Inkwell Management. (May)
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