Rules for Visiting

Jessica Francis Kane. Penguin Press, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-0-525-55922-1
In Kane’s impeccably written and surprisingly moving second novel (after The Report), May Attaway is an endearingly principled university gardener approaching 40, who lives in her childhood home in Anneville with her father, a retired professor. She moved back to take care of her mother, who has since died, and has neither married nor had children. Though not unhappy, May’s life is at an impasse. When a poem about a yew tree on campus wins a major prize, and a reporter points out May planted the original cutting, she is rewarded with 30 days of paid leave. This coincides with the death of a writer May never knew personally, but whose tribute site May is fond of reading after it went up following her death. So May, seeing how beloved the writer is, decides to use her month off to visit four old friends: Lindy, a happy mom of three and homemaker; Neera, living on the West Coast and navigating a disintegrating marriage; Vanessa, living a cosmopolitan life in New York; and Rose, also a gardener and living in her native England. On May’s visits, she comes to realize the importance of empathy in cultivating relationships, not only with them but with the many people in her life, both past and present. May’s journey is lovely and deeply affecting. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/06/2019
Release date: 05/14/2019
Genre: Fiction
Book - 978-1-984878-77-9
Ebook - 978-0-525-55923-8
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-0-525-55924-5
Library Binding - 369 pages - 978-1-4328-6789-8
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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