A BOOKLIST TOP TEN DEBUT OF THE YEAR
It happens on a hot summer evening, while children with peeling sunburns roam the streets playing tag and cicadas hum in the trees. Sissy’s ex-best friend goes missing while riding her bike in the park, and it casts a shadow on her family, who are already struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy. For nine-year-old Sissy, whose mother is not there when she’s needed, whose father is angry, and whose older sister is focused on seducing her high school teacher, desperate secrets seem to underlie everything. As the summer grows hotter and the missing girl is never found, the sense of foreboding builds toward one violent night when everything will change forever for Sissy’s family.
About the Author
Sandra Novack’s fiction has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Gettysburg Review, Gulf Coast, and Mississippi Review, among other publications. She has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, and holds an MFA from Vermont College. Novack currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, Phil, and many animals.
Praise for Precious…
“Lyrical and finely crafted . . . graceful prose . . . Novack takes the massive distance between friends, husbands and wives, and makes it her home.”—Publishers Weekly
“Every tragedy is inevitable in Novack’s precise, often beautiful debut.”–Kirkus
“Precious has everything I want in a novel. The Kisch family—and really, all of the people who inhabit this wonderful book—seem so real that I feel I've literally met them. The everyday setting is made haunting by the heart-stopping plot and by the novel's exact and understated prose. This is a novel about an era, a world, and a neighborhood, but at it's core, it's about a family struggling to understand, and to be understood.”—Laura Moriarty, author of The Rest of Her Life
“Exquisitely written, Precious is about all the vanishings in our lives—family, love, trust—and the stories we tell ourselves and each other to fill the subsequent holes left in our hearts. So haunting I haven’t been able to forget a syllable of it, Precious isn’t just spectacularly special–it's truly one knockout punch of a debut.”—Caroline Leavitt, author of Girls in Trouble
“Precious exposes the connections of fearful hope, and weighs the cost and ultimate endurance of love. Written with compassion and grave grace, this lyrical, nuanced book establishes Sandra Novack as a significant novelist from whom we will hear much more.”—Erin McGraw, author of The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard
“Like Natalia, just one of the unforgettable characters in Precious, Sandra Novack understands ‘the small, complicated spaces that exist between people,’ but she also understands, as Natalia learns to, how people can close those spaces, how they can return home to a love they thought was lost. Precious is a beautifully written, moving, and wise novel from one of the best new writers to come along in years.”—David Jauss, author of Black Maps
“Trouble simmers beneath the surface of a bucolic Pennsylvania town in Novack’s dramatic, elegantly rendered debut . . . Accomplished … [Novack] writes tellingly of the complex relationships among families, lovers, and friends.”—Booklist, starred