cover image The Art of Adapting

The Art of Adapting

Cassandra Dunn . S&S/Touchstone, $25 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4767-6160-2

Dunn's debut novel is a lively, engaging, and heartfelt tale of learning how to cope with change. Lana is separated from her husband, and trying to raise two teenagers. Her son Byron navigates between the jocks and the rebels, nursing a crush for his best friend's college-age sister, and getting interested in the sport of parkour. Her daughter Abby is descending into an eating disorder, while trying to keep up her high grades and her status as an honor student. The household is further complicated when Lana's brother Matt moves in%E2%80%94a challenge, since he has Asperger's syndrome, and has a unique way of ordering the world. Told from the alternating points of view of Lana, Matt, Byron, and Abby, Dunn is able to fully draw the reader into each individual character's skin. Through the four characters' conflicts, Dunn draws the reader's sympathy: Matt, in particular, is a memorable narrator. This is a thoughtful and touching novel, and will leave readers eager for the author's next work. (July)