Next Year, for Sure

A Novel

Next Year, for Sure

In this moving and enormously entertaining debut novel, longtime romantic partners Kathryn and Chris experiment with an open relationship and reconsider everything they thought they knew about love.

After nine years together, Kathryn and Chris have the sort of relationship most would envy. They speak in the shorthand they have invented, complete one another’s sentences, and help each other through every daily and existential dilemma. But, as content as they are together, an enduring loneliness continues to haunt the dark corners of their relationship. When Chris tells Kathryn about his feelings for Emily, a vivacious young woman he sees often at the Laundromat, Kathryn encourages her boyfriend to pursue this other woman—certain that her bond with Chris is strong enough to weather a little side dalliance.

Next Year, For Sure tracks the tumultuous, revelatory, and often very funny year that follows. When Chris’s romance with Emily evolves beyond what anyone anticipated, both Chris and Kathryn are invited into Emily’s communal home, where Kathryn will discover new possibilities of her own. In the confusions, passions, and upheavals of their new lives, both Kathryn and Chris are forced to reconsider their past and what they thought they knew about love.

Offering a luminous portrait of a relationship from two perspectives, Zoey Leigh Paterson has written an empathic, beautiful, and tremendously honest novel about a great love pushed to the edge. Deeply poignant and hugely entertaining, Next Year, For Sure shows us what lies at the mysterious heart of relationships, and what true openness and transformation require.
  • Scribner | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501145858 | 
  • March 2017
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Read an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Next Year, For Sure includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


After nine years together, Kathryn and Chris have a seemingly perfect relationship built on trust and respect. So when Chris confesses his crush on Emily, a vivacious young woman he met at the laundromat, Kathryn encourages him to ask her out on a date. Next Year, For Sure follows the tumultuous, revelatory, and often funny year in which Kathryn and Chris experiment with an open relationship and reconsider everything they thought they knew about love.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. What were your initial impressions of Kathryn and Chris? How did your impressions change throughout the book? Why?

2. On page 10, Chris says he knows a relationship with Emily wouldn’t work because she is extremely extroverted while he is equally introverted. Why do you think he pursues a relationship anyway? Do you think Chris was ultimately right about their incompatibility?

3. Discuss Kathryn and Sharon’s friendship. What purpose does it play? How does it change? How does it compare with the emerging relationship between Kathry see more

About the Author

Zoey Leigh Peterson
Vivienne McMaster

Zoey Leigh Peterson

Zoey Leigh Peterson was born in England, grew up all over the United States, and now lives in Canada. Her fiction has appeared in The Walrus, Grain, PRISM international, and has been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories and Best Canadian Stories. She is the recipient of the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction (The Malahat Review) and the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award (The New Quarterly). Next Year, For Sure is her first novel.