Katherine Heiny Standard Deviation

ISBN 13: 9780385353816

Standard Deviation

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( 5,326 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780385353816: Standard Deviation
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TheSkimm's Best of Skimm Reads
NPR's Guide to Great Reads
The Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction of the Year
Minnesota Public Radio's The Best Books to Give and Get: Fiction Picks of the Year

An uproarious novel ("Both heart-piercing and, crucially, very funny." --Louise Erdrich, The New York Times) from the celebrated author of Single, Carefree, Mellow about the challenges of a good marriage, the delight and heartache of raising children, and the irresistible temptation to wonder about the path not taken.

When Graham Cavanaugh divorced his first wife it was to marry his girlfriend, Audra, a woman as irrepressible as she is spontaneous and fun. But, Graham learns, life with Audra can also be exhausting, constantly interrupted by chatty phone calls, picky-eater houseguests, and invitations to weddings of people he's never met. Audra firmly believes that through the sheer force of her personality she can overcome the most socially challenging interactions, shepherding her son through awkward playdates and origami club, and even deciding to establish a friendship with Graham's first wife, Elspeth. Graham isn't sure he understands why Audra longs to be friends with the woman he divorced. After all, former spouses are hard to categorize--are they enemies, old flames, or just people you know really, really well? And as Graham and Audra share dinners, holidays, and late glasses of wine with his first wife he starts to wonder: How can anyone love two such different women? Did I make the right choice? Is there a right choice? A hilarious and rueful debut novel of love, marriage, infidelity, and origami, Standard Deviation never deviates from the superb.

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Review:

"Audra Daltry is a singular creation--a character so funny, so appealing, so sure that she can change the world for her family that she will jump right off the page and take up permanent residence in your heart. Standard Deviation is a marvel." --Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life

"A book so funny and perceptive I want to be friends with its author." --Laline Paull, author of The Bees

"I have been a fan of Katherine Heiny's writing for years but my adoration of her reaches a new apex with this, her first novel, Standard Deviation. It's an irresistibly charming novel about age-old institutions: marriage and parenting. But Heiny's brilliantly drawn characters and her keen insights make both topics feel brand new. A delightful, refreshing novel that illuminates the world of complicated relationships." --Elin Hilderbrand, author of Here's to Us
"In her debut novel, the author of the charming short story collection Single, Carefree, Mellow matures into new (equally beguiling) terrain, exploring marriage, fidelity, friendship, and parenting... Wonderful... Reading as delicious as the meals Graham is forever called into service to cook... To spend 300-plus pages with Heiny's wry voice and colorful cast of characters is to love them, truly. An amusingly engaging take on long-term marriage with a lovably loopy character at its center." --Kirkus (Starred Review)

"Standard Deviation is a winning effort that smartly examines the ties that bind in even the most unlikely of marriages. . . Heiny's gift for quick-witted dialogue displays the skill of an observational comic. . . Provides a consistent flow of humor. With its assortment of quirky characters who stumble through life even as, to all outward appearances, many of them should have it mastered, Standard Deviation bears a certain resemblance to the work of Anne Tyler." --Shelf Awareness


"Both heart-piercing and, crucially, very funny." --Louise Erdrich, The New York Times

"A funny, bittersweet story of marriage, full of regrets and temptations." --People

"Katherine Heiny's debut novel is not only one of the funniest books you will ever read, but true and poignant, too. And Audra is one of the most memorable characters ever to leap from the pages of a book." --John Harding, The Daily Mail

"Warmhearted... Dishes up amusing riffs on marriage, misfits, and finicky eaters, plus some wonderfully on-target descriptions... Explores the complexities and ambivalences that color even our most central relationships... This book is about a marriage under stress--though Heiny keeps it bubbly, evoking the smart, stylish wit of Laurie Colwin, Nora Ephron, and Maria Semple... [She] clearly has what it takes to join the elite coterie of witty social satirists who turn out smart, lively charmers." --Heller McAlpin, NPR

"Audra Daltry is a singular creation--a character so funny, so appealing, so sure that she can change the world for her family that she will jump right off the page and take up permanent residence in your heart. Standard Deviation is a marvel." --Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life

"Wonderful... It is easier to catalog this novel's individual sly charms than it is to nail down the essential, quicksilver thing that makes it such a success." --Lydia Kiesling, The New York Times Book Review

"Wonderful... To spend 300-plus pages with Heiny's wry voice and colorful cast of characters is to love them, truly. An amusingly engaging take on long-term marriage with a lovably loopy character at its center." --Kirkus (Starred Review)

"Katherine Heiny marries wit and wonder in Standard Deviation." --Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair

"The Vacationers meets Nora Ephron. Warning: you will laugh in public." --The Skimm

"A funny, bittersweet story of marriage, full of regrets and temptations." --People

"Katherine Heiny marries wit and wonder in Standard Deviation." --Sloane Crosley, Vanity Fair

"The Vacationers meets Nora Ephron. Warning: you will laugh in public." --The Skimm

"Katherine Heiny's debut novel is not only one of the funniest books you will ever read, but true and poignant, too. And Audra is one of the most memorable characters ever to leap from the pages of a book." --John Harding, The Daily Mail

"Warmhearted... Dishes up amusing riffs on marriage, misfits, and finicky eaters, plus some wonderfully on-target descriptions... Explores the complexities and ambivalences that color even our most central relationships... This book is about a marriage under stress--though Heiny keeps it bubbly, evoking the smart, stylish wit of Laurie Colwin, Nora Ephron, and Maria Semple... [She] clearly has what it takes to join the elite coterie of witty social satirists who turn out smart, lively charmers." --Heller McAlpin, NPR

"Audra Daltry is a singular creation--a character so funny, so appealing, so sure that she can change the world for her family that she will jump right off the page and take up permanent residence in your heart. Standard Deviation is a marvel." --Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life

"Wonderful... It is easier to catalog this novel's individual sly charms than it is to nail down the essential, quicksilver thing that makes it such a success." --Lydia Kiesling, The New York Times Book Review

"Wonderful... To spend 300-plus pages with Heiny's wry voice and colorful cast of characters is to love them, truly. An amusingly engaging take on long-term marriage with a lovably loopy character at its center." --Kirkus (Starred Review)

About the Author:

KATHERINE HEINY is the author of Single, Carefree Mellow, a collection of short stories. Her fiction has been published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children.

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