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If, then
2019
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Summary
"A must-read--a gorgeous literary novel that asks us to imagine all the possible versions of ourselves that might exist." --J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions

The residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines the family-driven suspense of Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere with the inventive storytelling of The Immortalists .

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny's own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny's husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she's on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.

At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing--and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.

Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day's debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies--the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we've entered another reality.

Praise for If, Then

"Hope Day has a lot of sly, stealthy fun with time-bending and parallel universes, but she also has serious things to say on urban paranoia, climate change and the atomized nature of modern life." -- Daily Mail

" If, Then has the narrative propulsion of a television show . . . [It's] a whirlwind of a story." -- Chicago Review of Books

"Effortlessly meshing the dreamlike and the realistic, [Kate Hope] Day's well-crafted mix of literary and speculative fiction is an enthralling meditation on the interconnectedness of all things." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Trade Reviews
Booklist Review
Day's complex debut explores the mind-bending idea that for every decision made, alternate choices lead to different lives. Four neighbors, living at the foot of a dormant volcano in a peaceful Pacific Northwest community, experience a series of unprecedented events. Those incidents will weave their lives together in unexpected ways. Each is suffering from loneliness, loss, resentment, disappointment, and frustration: a successful surgeon too wrapped up in her job, her research-scientist husband seeking acceptance, a new mom longing to complete her abandoned Ph.D., and a grieving daughter reluctantly taking up the life her mother left behind. They all begin having visions, what if scenarios of how their lives could be if another choice is made. The options are tempting, and each decides to follow that different course, some for the better, others falling prey to dangerous obsession. When those paths start intersecting, and the mountain starts to rumble, everyone will wonder if their choice of another life is real or simply a delusion. Multiverse-theory fans will enjoy the speculation offered in this novel.--Lucy Lockley Copyright 2010 Booklist
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