Count the Ways: A Novel

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Product Description In her most ambitious novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard returns to the themes that are the hallmarks of her most acclaimed work in a mesmerizing story of a family—from the hopeful early days of young marriage to parenthood, divorce, and the costly aftermath that ripples through all their lives Eleanor and Cam meet at a crafts fair in Vermont in the early 1970s. She’s an artist and writer, he makes wooden bowls. Within four years they are parents to three children, two daughters and a red-headed son who fills his pockets with rocks, plays the violin and talks to God. To Eleanor, their New Hampshire farm provides everything she always wanted—summer nights watching Cam’s softball games, snow days by the fire and the annual tradition of making paper boats and cork people to launch in the brook every spring. If Eleanor and Cam don’t make love as often as they used to, they have something that matters more. Their family. Then comes a terrible accident, caused by Cam’s negligence. Unable to forgive him, Eleanor is consumed by bitterness, losing herself in her life as a mother, while Cam finds solace with a new young partner.  Over the decades that follow, the five members of this fractured family make surprising discoveries and decisions that occasionally bring them together, and often tear them apart. Tracing the course of their lives—through the gender transition of one child and another’s choice to completely break with her mother—Joyce Maynard captures a family forced to confront essential, painful truths of its past, and find redemption in its darkest hours. A story of holding on and learning to let go, Count the Ways is an achingly beautiful, poignant, and deeply compassionate novel of home, parenthood, love, and forgiveness. Review “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 “ Count the Ways is the book you will want to curl up in a chair and read from beginning to end. It’s rich and complex, beautiful and heartbreaking, just like life. Reading about this flawed and lovely family will make you want to hug your own flawed and lovely family tight. Joyce Maynard celebrates the messy, wonderful thing that is love." -- Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and The Book That Matters Most “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.—Rea