“Combining the edginess of modern life with the touching theme of losing someone who has become just like family, [this book] confirms Giordano as a writer who understands contemporary science and the complexities of human relationships.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Beautifully crafted…its themes are universal and it will appeal to anyone who treasures the gifts of others.” —Library Journal (starred review)
Paolo Giordano’s prizewinning debut novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, which has been translated into more than 40 languages since its release in 2008, catapulted him into the literary spotlight. In his new novel LIKE FAMILY (Pamela Dorman Books; On-sale: December 1st; $22.00; 9780525428763)—a nuanced portrait of marriage, adulthood, and the meaning of family—Giordano once again returns to the intimate domestic setting that first made him an international sensation. A writer exquisitely attuned to compassion, isolation, and the sometimes overlooked yet startlingly powerful details of our daily lives, here he chronicles the tribulations of a married couple whose lives are indelibly changed by their housekeeper and nanny, Mrs. A.
Nora and her husband, the story’s unnamed narrator, solicit Mrs. A., a middle-aged widow, to help out with Nora’s difficult pregnancy. Mrs. A soon becomes a confidant and her exacting yet reassuring presence is swiftly and deeply felt by the entire family, including their young son, Emanuele. For Nora and her husband, Mrs. A.’s influence allows them to negotiate the complexities of married life. She becomes, as the narrator suggests, the sole “witness” to their love, someone who validates their relationship. And for Emanuele, Mrs. A. is the shield protecting him from his parents’ high expectations and disappointments. But when Mrs. A. is diagnosed with metastasizing cancer, the delicate fabric of the young family comes swiftly undone.
Elegiac, heartrending, and deeply personal, LIKE FAMILY asks a profoundly simple question: What does it mean to love someone? Giordano confronts this perhaps unanswerable question with the kind of tenderness that a husband reserves for a wife, or a parent for a child. And through his wholly realized characters—a widowed nanny, an introverted scientist, an outgoing designer—he proves that love has many forms and gives meaning to any existence, no matter how ordinary. Short yet powerfully affecting, and arguably Giordano’s most accomplished work, LIKE FAMILY will strike resounding chords with readers of Colm Tóibín, Andrew Sean Greer, and Akhil Sharma.
Paolo Giordano is the author of the critically acclaimed The Human Body and the international bestseller The Solitude of Prime Numbers, which has been translated into more than 40 languages. He has a PhD in particle physics and is now a full-time writer. He lives in Italy. LIKE FAMILY is his third novel.
To win LIKE FAMILY by Paolo Giordano, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “LIKE FAMILY” as the subject. You must include your U.S. street address in your email.
All entries must be received by Dec. 21, 2015. One (1) name will be drawn from all qualified entries and notified via email. This contest is open to all adults over 18 years of age in the United States only. Your prize will be sent by Penguin Random House.
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LIKE FAMILY by Paolo Giordano. Pamela Dorman Books (December 1, 2015). 978-0525428763. 160p. $16.00