By: Joyce Maynard
Count the Ways #2
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 06/25/2024
My Rating: Currently Reading (ARC)
From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard comes the eagerly anticipated follow-up to her beloved novel Count the Ways—a complex story of three generations of a family and its remarkable, resilient, indomitable matriarch, Eleanor.
Following the death of her former husband, Cam, fifty-four-year-old Eleanor has moved back to the New Hampshire farm where they raised three children to care for their brain-injured son, Toby, now an adult. Toby’s older brother, Al, is married and living in Seattle with his wife; their sister, Ursula, lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Although all appears stable, old resentments, anger, and bitterness simmer just beneath the surface.
How the Light Gets In follows Eleanor and her family through fifteen years (2010 to 2024) as their story plays out against a uniquely American backdrop and the events that transform their world (climate change, the January 6th insurrection, school violence) and shape their lives (later-life love, parental alienation, steadfast friendship). With her trademark sensitivity and insight, Joyce Maynard paints an indelible portrait of characters both familiar and new making their way over rough, messy, and treacherous terrain to find their way to what is, for each, a place to call “home.”
“A fearlessly candid, heartrendingly forthright examination of the joys and terrors of family life from the perspective of a woman of unusual sensitivity and empathy, Count the Ways takes us on a memorable journey.”
— Joyce Carol Oates
"Wonderfully absorbing, precise and emotionally astute . . .I was moved by the characters' ambivalences, their misgivings, their anger, but most of all by their complex and fascinating love." — Marisa Silver, New York Times bestselling author of The Mysteries, on Count the Ways
“Joyce Maynard is the queen of the family saga, and Count the Ways is the best! Instantly addicting, the story of Eleanor, Cam, and their children pulls you in and wraps itself around you like an heirloom quilt made of familiarity, intimacy, and the orchestral complexity of loving the people closest to us. This is the novel you’ll be longing to return to at the end of every day and one you will re-read for years to come.”
— Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family
“Cut[s] across moments of national and personal upheaval to examine the complex web of family against the backdrop of history.”
— New York Times Book Review on Count the Ways
"The novel bites off a lot—a Brett Kavanaugh–inspired storyline, a domestic abuse situation, a trans child, Eleanor's career—and manages to resolve them all. . . Maynard creates a world rich and real enough to hold the pain she fills it with."
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Count the Ways
“How did Maynard know that this is exactly the book we all need now? This exhilaratingly brilliant novel isn’t just an indelible story of the falling dominoes of a family struggling through crisis and through generations, it’s also about the times we live through. . . . This gorgeous story reminds us that love is always, always worth it.”
— Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You
“Count the Ways is an extraordinarily generous invitation into a woman’s intimate life, from the loneliness of her youth to the earned wisdom of middle age. In this richly imagined novel, Maynard never flinches as she portrays both quiet successes and heartbreaking failures at love, marriage, and motherhood. This is the work of one of our great storytellers.”
— Meredith Hall, New York Times bestselling author of Beneficence
"Sensitively plumbing the complexity of human emotions, of love and forgiveness, [Maynard] draws readers into a deep, aching attachment to her characters, creating an ultimately hopeful tale just right for this moment."
— Booklist (starred review)
“Readers will sink into Maynard’s masterful portrait of one woman’s life in this decades-spanning family saga.”
— Library Journal (starred review)
“Joyce Maynard has, again, managed to tap flawlessly into the voice of a teenage girl: part hope, part fiction, and all heart. After Her is page-turning mystery, wrapped in a beautifully rendered story of sisterhood; and reading it is a journey through one’s own memory of what it meant to be thirteen, when the world was equally terrifying and fascinating. Books this compelling just don’t come around very often.”
— Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author on After Her
About the Author
A native of New Hampshire, Joyce Maynard began publishing her stories in magazines when she was thirteen years old. She first came to national attention with the publication of her New York Times cover story, “An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life”, in 1972, when she was a freshman at Yale. Since then, she has been a reporter and columnist for The New York Times, a syndicated newspaper columnist whose “Domestic Affairs” column appeared in over fifty papers nationwide, a regular contributor to NPR and national magazines including Vogue, The New York Times Magazine, and many more. She is a longtime performer with The Moth.
Joyce Maynard is the author of eighteen books, including the New York Times bestselling novel, Labor Day and To Die For (both adapted for film), Under the Influence and the memoirs, At Home in the World and The Best of Us.
Her latest novel, Count the Ways —the story of a marriage and a divorce, and the children who survived it— was published by William Morrow in July, 2021, and The Bird Hotel (Arcade Publishing) was published May 2, 2023.
She is currently at work on a sequel to Count the Ways, tentatively scheduled for publication in 2024.
Maynard is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. She is the founder of Write by the Lake, a week-long workshop on the art and craft of memoir, held every year since 2001 at Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. WEBSITE