cover image Days of Awe

Days of Awe

Lauren Fox. Knopf, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-307-26812-9

Following the success of her first two novels (Still Life with Husband and Friends Like Us), Fox lays out a tale about a woman’s attempt to piece her life together following the death of her best friend. When Josie dies unexpectedly in a car accident, her closest friend, Isabel, is left with nagging guilt, a broken marriage, a strained relationship with her preteen daughter, and the challenge of grieving and moving forward. Through painful months of doubt, anguish, and depression, Isabel reconciles herself to the truth that her actions bear no responsibility for the fatal outcome. This realization, however mollifying, comes just as Chris, her husband, moves out of their house in the Midwest into his own apartment. And to add to her misery, Isabel discovers him on a date with their marriage counselor shortly after their daughter begs to move in with him full-time. It’s not until Josie’s mother drags her to a support group for recent divorcées that she begins to see the possibility of love after so much loss. Filled with insecurities and anxieties, Isabel’s nuanced character is relatable—her struggles are universal and the reader will root for her to succeed. Raw and darkly humorous at times, Fox’s novel is a winner. (Aug.)