cover image Kismet


Becky Chalsen. Dutton, $17.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-47150-0

Chalsen’s stunning debut, which walks the line between romance and women’s fiction, beautifully illustrates the power of family and forgiveness. Amy and her husband, Ben, both 30, are reeling from the pain of a miscarriage, but agree to keep their disappointment quiet as they head to Fire Island for the wedding of Amy’s twin, Jo, to Dave. Though determined to put on a brave face, Amy is dealt another blow when she learns that Dave’s best man is Emmett, the only person, other than Ben, that Amy ever dated. Amy’s fear that Ben will leave her due to the miscarriage leads her to entertain the idea of getting involved with Emmett again as she reevaluates what she wants out of life. Meanwhile, Dave’s parents and sister are unimpressed by Jo and her family, adding to the mounting tension. Throughout the propulsive plot, the characters wrestle with big, messy, and complex emotions believably arising from major life events. Chalsen infuses her cast with such depth and personality that, by the end, readers will feel like they really know the characters. This moving outing marks Chalsen as a writer to watch. Agent: Sabrina Taitz, WME. (Apr.)