Next Year, for Sure

A Novel

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About The Book

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.

Excerpt

Next Year, for Sure CHAPTER 1 Next Year, For Sure
If you put the religion books on one shelf, it makes god look like a phase you went through. Like a deck you were going to build until you got a few manuals and all the tools and then didn’t. No, it’s better to have those books scattered seemingly at random, snuggled between a history of space travel and a slim volume of found poems. Then it’s clear that spirituality is just one facet in a richly lived life. It says you are open to possibilities.

Chris doesn’t even know if Emily believes in god. (Or poetry, for that matter, or interplanetary travel.) He knows that she swears impressively but never goddamns anything—not once in their seven conversations. He knows that she lives in a crowded, bustling house called Ahimsa, but the house would have been named long before Emily moved to town and took over this part of his brain. And he knows that when he asked if she’d like to come apartment-sit over the long weekend, she used the word sanctuary and said it in a way that stilled the air.

•  •  •

I think I have a crush on Emily, he tells Kathryn in the shower. This is where they confide crushes.

A heart crush or a boner crush? Kathryn says.

He doesn’t know how to choose. It’s not particularly sexual, his crush. He hasn’t thought about Emily that way. And Chris would never say boner. But it’s not just his heart, either. It’s his molecules.

So he tells Kathryn about his molecules. How the first time he met Emily, it felt like his DNA had been resequenced. How he felt an instant kinship and a tenderness that was somehow painful. How, whenever he talks to her, he comes away feeling hollowed out and nauseous like after swimming too long in a chlorinated pool. And how—this, sheepishly—he has spent days arranging and rearranging their bookshelves and postcards and takeout menus, not only to make the apartment as welcoming as possible, but also as informative. As compelling.

You’re awesome, Kathryn says.

•  •  •

Kathryn gets into bed still wet, the way she likes, and Chris makes the bed around her. A pillow between her thighs, a kiss on each knee, one arm tucked between the sheet and the blanket. She does this thing, this purring sound in her throat, which he has never been able to approximate.

Chris slides under the covers and wraps himself around her. She burrows, nestles with contentment, but then seems sad.

I wish Sharon and Kyle were coming, she says.

Me too, he says. But it’ll still be good. He holds her and tells her all the ways it will still be good. Four days in the woods—no cars, no phones, no people. Four days alone with her favorite person in her favorite place with her favorite foods. She smiles. He walks her through each meal they’ve planned, the ingredients premeasured and packed into satisfyingly compact bundles on the backs of their bikes. She nods and mmmms until she starts to twitch and is away.

Chris tries to let himself be pulled down by the warm suck of her undertow, but he is left lying in the dark. In his head, he starts to compose the offhand note he will write as they rush off the next morning. Hi Emily, Please make yourself at home. There is white wine in the fridge, and red—Hi Emily, Everything you see is yours. Hi Emily, I love you. Hi Emily, We’ll be back Monday night. Hope you have a great weekend! Love, Chris.

Love, Chris & Kathryn.

Kathryn & Chris.

•  •  •

It’s a two-hour ride to the big ferry, then another two hours on the other side, then a smaller ferry, another ride. By the time they get to the campsite, it will be dusk. But right now it’s still dewy and cool and they are taking it easy. Normally, there’d be the four of them riding in a line, and he knows Kathryn’s favorite thing is to ride at the back and watch them all snaking through the city, loaded with gear. Today they are riding side by side because it is too lonely not to.

Kathryn has been a little sad all morning, so to cheer her up, Chris has been amusing her with the fussy, imperceptible measures he has taken to prepare the apartment for Emily: vacuuming the coils behind the fridge, relabeling their ragtag spice jars, hiding their exercise tapes. Nothing invigorates Kathryn like a good crush—more often hers, but especially his—and she was quick to make it into a game they could both play. After they’d put on fresh sheets for Emily, Kathryn insisted they roll around on the just-made bed.

If it looks too neat, she said, it feels forbidding. What you want is a deep, deep sense of clean, yes, but then a surface that is—

(And here she made a gesture that was at once inviting and nonchalant.)

They rolled and cavorted on the bed until it needed to be made all over again.

•  •  •

On the smaller ferry, they stand away from their bicycles so they don’t have to field questions from bored drivers. They lean on the railing and gaze out over the water.

I used to always see whales on the ferry when I was a kid, Kathryn says. She is stretching her calf muscle without taking her eyes off the horizon. I thought that was the whole point, she says, the whales. The first time they didn’t come, I told my mom she should get our money back.

Chris always likes this story. He likes to look inside her brain and see how it works, like an ant farm or a cutaway model of a submarine—he never gets tired of looking.

He tells her, again, about the time his family went camping and how he woke up one morning to find two killer whales playing in the water just off the shore, and how he stood there for half an hour, not twenty feet from his family asleep in their tents, and never woke them up.

Her eyes well with fresh love. Sometimes Chris wonders if Kathryn remembers his stories; it often seems like she’s hearing them for the first time. But then at other times they’ll be talking and Kathryn will pluck a thread from a story Chris himself has long since forgotten, and he feels profoundly plumbed.

I hope you’d wake me up, she says.

I would definitely wake you up, he says.

He doesn’t know why he hadn’t woken his family. Or why he had hoped, almost prayed, that they wouldn’t wake up on their own. Or why, after only a few minutes, Chris had started to wish the whales would leave, even while he couldn’t stop staring and gasping with joy.

Kathryn presses into him, and they stare out over the teeming ocean. They see no whales.

•  •  •

Setting up the tent is awkward. Chris gets agitated by small objects when he is tired and sticky. Usually, Kathryn does the tents with Kyle while Sharon and Chris make dinner. They have a whole system.

Tonight the tent seems needlessly complex. Kathryn, though, is a good teacher. She talks him through each pole and peg as if talking him down from a very wide ledge. He likes learning things from her. He has a list in his head: how to develop film in the bathtub, how to can tomatoes, how to spell his name in sign language. By the time the tent is up, it is past dark and they are too tired to cook. They sit in the tent and eat a jar of peanut butter.

Kathryn falls asleep in her clothes, midsentence. Chris rummages through her backpack in the dark and finds her mouthguard. He holds it up to her lips and whispers in her ear. Baby bird, he says. She opens her jaw and feels for the plastic guard with her lips. He watches her pull it into her mouth and hears it snap into place.

Chris lies back and listens to the tide coming in or going out. He wants to stay in this moment, this ache of contentedness, but his mind is already starting to skip and skitter. He tries to tunnel down into his body, to feel the way his muscles are singing from the ride, the way his cells are feasting on the fat and protein of the peanut butter, the way his bones know that they are resting on the earth. But he thinks: Emily.

Emily.

Emily.

Emily.

•  •  •

Kathryn calls it the Tuna Voice. On their fifth anniversary, after nearly a lifetime without meat, Kathryn woke up in the night to a voice in her head. The voice said TunaTunaTunaTunaTuna. She couldn’t sleep. She couldn’t read. She couldn’t eat. Or she could eat, but it didn’t make any difference. For weeks she tried fatty omega acids and vitamin B, but all she could think was TunaTunaTunaTunaTuna. Finally, she gave up and ate a damn tuna-fish sandwich and the voice stopped. She almost cried for two days. About a year later, the voice came back, and she immediately ate a tuna-fish sandwich. Now she buys one can of tuna a year and keeps it in the cupboard and doesn’t call herself a vegetarian.

Maybe you just need to eat Emily, she says over breakfast.

Chris makes a face.

Once a year, she says.

He’d like to change the subject, but he can’t think of anything else.

•  •  •

Without Sharon and Kyle, the day feels long.

•  •  •

Without Sharon and Kyle, they eat lunch too early, then dinner too early. And then the sun won’t go down.

Years ago, before Sharon and Kyle, they had come here with other friends. Dori and Brett the first time, but Dori and Brett seemed to believe that the point of camping together was so the men and the women could get away from each other. Dori kept saying things like, Why don’t you boys go explore while we get dinner organized. And later, to Kathryn, conspiratorially, Why don’t we make the menfolk wash the dishes.

Michael and Pat had come another year, but what made Michael and Pat such sparkling dinner guests made them exhausting campers. They were funny, inquisitive, and perpetually on, quickly filling each silence with witty banter and innuendo until after three days it felt like the most important thing in the world was for four people to be able to sit in the woods and not talk.

Then there was Susan and Mark, whose irony and just-kidding insults gradually became toxic. And Jamie and Rhen, who were fine but who never stopped feeling like company.

Really, Sharon and Kyle were perfect. Sharon and Kyle took turns telling stories. Sharon and Kyle asked questions and listened to your answers. Even when you paused to take a breath, even when you circled back to find the words you hadn’t found before, they didn’t interrupt. Sharon and Kyle got tipsy from the same number of drinks. Sharon and Kyle never said, Too bad—it’s three against one. Sharon and Kyle went to bed at the right time and didn’t sleep all day and make you tiptoe around the campsite. Sharon and Kyle pulled different stories out of Kathryn—stories Chris had never heard before.

The only problem with Sharon and Kyle is the question too important to ask: Will they come next year?

•  •  •

They go to bed before dark and wait in each other’s arms for sleep.

I hope you don’t leave me for Emily, Kathryn says.

I’m not going to leave you for Emily, he says.

He doesn’t want to leave her for Emily. He wants to be smart, to be a grown-up, to learn from his mistakes. Besides, it wouldn’t work.

Chris knows, just from their few conversations, that Emily’s days are bursting with potlucks and benefits and this friend’s opening and that friend’s closing, and he knows how this would go. For a couple of weeks, it would be extraordinary. He would rise to every occasion. He would be fun and vibrant, full of fresh stories and observations. Her friends would love him. Because he can be impressive; that’s what everyone says. But after a while, Chris would reach the bottom of his reserves. He would need a night to recharge. He would need most nights to recharge. Emily would stay home to be with him, or she’d go without him and be sad about his absence, but either way, her friends would take it personally. When Chris says that he needs to recharge, they’d say, Exactly, all the more reason to come out. They’d say it’ll be just what he needs. Because they can’t understand that the thing that rejuvenates them is the thing that drains Chris. That going out and having fun is harder than work.

And then Emily, after months of feeling isolated and losing touch with who she is, finally breaks up with him. Or she should. And everyone is miserable. Him, Emily, Kathryn. Kathryn who had been the perfect fit all along.

While the tent fills with their exhaled breath, Chris plays out the scenario in his head like a film reel, watching the relationships implode in real time, then watching in reverse, trying to inoculate himself against the voice whispering at the edges of his brain.

•  •  •

When he wakes up, Kathryn is gone. There is a note on the picnic table, waiting under a rock. She has seen people in kayaks and gone to find out the rental rates. She loves him. And under this, she has drawn a picture of him sleeping, all furrowed and earnest.

He cooks breakfast like a ceremony, channeling all his errant feelings of tenderness into her food. She is Kathryn the Amazing. His favorite person in the world. He tries to prolong the preparation, to tease the food along, so that when she returns, everything will be moments from ready, like magic. But then suddenly it is done, and Kathryn is still gone.

He putters around the campsite, tidying their gear, folding the discarded clothes that have accumulated at the foot of their sleeping pads. He oils her chain. He adjusts his brakes. After a while, he eats breakfast alone and sets Kathryn’s aside for her.

Chris reads her letter again. He stares into the loops of her g’s, the cavities in her vowels, and senses he has said too much. It is time to stop talking about Emily. But he doesn’t know how to not share everything with Kathryn. He doesn’t know how to keep a secret from her. Or how to just shrug and smile when she asks what he’s thinking, which is what she asks when she comes back. She is wearing a life jacket.

•  •  •

The kayak is a two-person deal, and big. It was the last the rental place had. Cinched into the rear cockpit, he feels he is part of a two-headed sea monster—half human, half boat, half human.

They negotiate their way along the shore, too nervous for the open water where the current sometimes takes people away.

For years, Sharon and Kyle have been trying to hike round to the other side of the island, seemingly impossible to reach by land. This, Chris knows, is where the kayak is headed. They will see the other side of the island, he and Kathryn, and they will tell Sharon and Kyle, and Sharon and Kyle will say they can’t believe they missed it, and next year for sure.

•  •  •

Chris watches Kathryn’s steady strokes and eases his rhythm to complement hers. He tries to stroke left when she strokes right, right when she strokes left. He thinks one of them is supposed to be steering, but they seem to be finding a course together, pushing wordlessly toward the far point of the shore, and then the next point, and then the point beyond that.

Do you want to kiss her? Kathryn says.

Chris didn’t even know he was thinking about Emily. From the rear of the kayak, he can’t see Kathryn’s face, only her back, her hair, her elbows. He studies the back of her head, trying to read her. She is leaning into her strokes, getting tired.

I don’t want to kiss her, he says.

He doesn’t want to kiss her. He wants what comes after. After the kissing and the undressing and the confiding. After the discovery and the familiarity and the gradual absence of kissing. He wants the intimacy of friends who used to be lovers.

They paddle around an outcropping in silence.

Because if you want to kiss her, she says, tell me and we can have that conversation.

Okay, he says.

Across the back of her life jacket is stenciled the word MEDIUM. He thinks: Medium. Seer. Soothsayer.

They turn back, unsure how far they’ve gone. They take turns paddling and sometimes let themselves float along.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Next Year, For Sure includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Zoey Leigh Peterson. 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.

Introduction

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 new neighbor he sees 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. Chris describes his relationship with Kathryn as extraordinarily happy: “Who’s happier than us?” (page 79). But elsewhere he says that he and Kathryn have always been sad, and he worries that they are “trapped in this sadness together” (page 153). How do you understand these two statements? Can both be equally true?

3. Discuss Kathryn and Sharon’s friendship. How does it compare with the emerging relationship between Kathryn and Emily?

4. From the beginning, Sharon is adamantly opposed to Kathryn and Chris trying an open relationship. Why does Sharon feel so strongly about Chris and Kathryn’s arrangement? And why does she remain opposed, even when Kathryn reports that it is working?

5. Why do you think the chapters are told from alternating perspectives—Chris, Kathryn, Chris, Kathryn? What do you think we might learn in a chapter from Emily’s perspective? Or Sharon’s?

6. From the very first page, we learn that Chris’s crush on Emily isn’t particularly sexual. How would the story be different if Chris were more driven by sex? How important is sex in the book? What role does it play for the different characters?

7. Several times, Chris resolves to ignore his feelings for Emily, but each time Kathryn persuades him to act on them instead. Why do you think she pushes him in this way?

8. Both Chris and Kathryn experience moments of jealousy, but they also experience “the opposite of jealousy” (page 186). Chris experiences real joy watching Kathryn be excited about Moss, and says that witnessing it feels like “falling in love sideways” (page 186). Kathryn feels a “wave of adoration for Emily and cannot tell if it is Chris’s or her own” (page 133). What do you make of these moments?

9. Toward the end of the book, the months May through August are blank. Why? What other narrative techniques does the author use throughout the book? How do they help shape the story?

10. Discuss what Kathryn means when she says she wishes “she could break up with herself and leave Chris out of it” (page 217).

11. At the end of the novel, Kathryn and Chris are still close and seem to be finding their way to a new phase in their relationship. Kathryn and Sharon, on the other hand, are no longer friends. How would you explain these very different outcomes? What makes some relationships able to change and transform over time, while other relationships end with bitter finality?

12. Near the end of the book, there’s a flash-forward to Sharon’s life five years in the future (page 199). What do you think the other characters will be doing in five years? In ten years, or twenty years? Are they still part of each other’s lives? How do their lives and relationships look different or the same?

13. The author has said in interviews that “this novel is about polyamory the way Moby Dick is about whales.” What do you think she means by that? What would you say the novel is about?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Think about some of your favorite literary love triangles. Reimagine one of those stories, replacing the love triangle with an open relationship, and discuss.

2. Take a look at one of the many nonfiction books about how to navigate polyamory successfully. (For example: More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory; or Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships.) How does the guidebook compare to what we see in the novel? What ideas and best practices do the characters in the novel get right? What mistakes do they make?

3. Characters in the novel give each other mix-tapes as a sign of affection, but pop songs often reinforce stereotypical ideas about love. What song would you put on a mix-tape for a character in this novel? If you’re part of a discussion group, you might create a playlist of your various songs together. You can also listen to a chapter-by-chapter playlist created by the author at
http://www.largeheartedboy.com/blog/archive/2017/05/book_notes_zoey.html

A Conversation with Zoey Leigh Peterson

Why did you want to write about polyamory?

Actually, I didn’t set out to write about polyamory. I set out to write about loneliness. And particularly the loneliness of adulthood, when it can get harder and harder to form new friendships that have the same depth and intimacy they used to have.

I was also thinking about how long-term relationships evolve and transform. I’ve been in relationships that have changed shape several times—relationships where we’d started out as friends, later we’d become romantic partners, later still we were friends again, and it all happened very amicably, without a rupture. But I’ve also been in relationships that imploded in the face of such change, and could never be repaired. I was wondering about this—why some relationships evolve gracefully, while others die cataclysmically.

These were the questions that inspired the novel. The polyamory was somewhat incidental. For me, polyamory is simply one possible way of being in a relationship.

Are you poly?

I’ve been in all kinds of relationships—poly ones, monogamous ones, straight ones, queer ones, et cetera—and I’ve seen them all work. I don’t have my heart set on one particular model.

But like I said earlier, I really wanted to write about loneliness. And while I don’t want to imply that polyamory is a cure for loneliness, I will say that the times in my life when I’ve felt the least lonely were the times when my relationships were the most complex and unconventional—times when I was part of a big weird family with four or five committed, intersecting relationships. Sometimes we didn’t know what to call those relationships. There didn’t seem to be a word for us. I think novels are a good way to explore the things we don’t have words for.

What kind of research did you do?

There are a lot of excellent resources on polyamory—books, podcasts, workshops—and a vibrant community of people who are thinking carefully about how to do it well. As a human, I’ve benefited enormously from these resources, but I didn’t explicitly draw on them while writing the book.

Part of the reason is that I didn’t consider what Chris and Kathryn were doing as polyamory, per se. (I’m not convinced Chris and Kathryn even know the word; I deliberately didn’t use it in the book.) The poly community has spent decades working out how to approach relationships in a way that is healthy and ethical and wise. They’ve developed frameworks and guidelines, manuals and best practices. Chris and Kathryn don’t know the first thing about that body of knowledge. I don’t see Chris and Kathryn as people who made a conscious decision to “try polyamory” as poly; I see them as two people who stumble into an open relationship while trying to find a new way of being together. And I respect that, too.

We sometimes talk like there are only one or two models of relationships to choose from, but there are an almost infinite number of ways to be in love. Every good relationship I’ve seen was a unique invention made up by the people involved.

What did you learn from writing this book?

I found some language for things that I’d always felt but had never been able to articulate. For instance, Kathryn’s longing for some sort of commitment that is bigger than two people, for an arrangement where friendships are explicitly recognized the way that marriages are. I’ve often longed for something like that, too. I still don’t have a word that captures what I want, exactly, but now I have pages I can point to and say, “This thing that she is trying to articulate here, this thing she wants…”

Also, the exercise of writing a chapter titled “What Everybody Wants” and having to systematically articulate exactly what each person in a given relationship wants—that was educational. I recommend it.

What surprised you most?

The thing that continues to surprise me is that some readers think this book is pushing polyamory, while other readers think the book is anti polyamory. I guess I sort of expected the former, but I never expected people would conclude that the moral of this book is that “polyamory doesn’t work.”

I’m certainly not going to tell anyone how to interpret the novel. But poly does work. Sometimes. Just like monogamy works, sometimes. The thing is, if you write a book about a monogamous person and that person is unhappy, no one thinks the moral is that monogamy doesn’t work.

I dislike the idea that a novel should even have a moral. But if I had to come up with one, I’d point to what Kathryn says early in the book: “There are lots of ways to be in a relationship, Sharon, ways they don’t put on TV.”

Is the book based on your real life? And which character is you?

There’s some of me in all the characters—Chris, Kathryn, Emily, Moss. Even poor Sharon. People often ask me to choose between Chris and Kathryn—which one I identify with, which one I like better, which one is secretly me. I don’t know. Sometimes Chris reminds me of me in my twenties, whereas Kathryn more reminds me of me in my thirties.

So, is the novel based on my real life? Well, twenty-year-old-me was never in a long-term relationship with thirty-year-old-me—so all that is definitely made up.

Enough seriousness—tell us one fun fact about the book.

Okay, I said that the book isn’t based on my real life, but is my real life now copying the book?

In the final chapters, Kathryn fantasizes about her future, in which she adopts a series of retired greyhounds named Edith and Gretchen and Tough Guy. As soon as I finished writing the book, I went and adopted a retired greyhound. (I tried to name him Edith, but he wanted to be a Linus instead.) He is snoring beside me as I write this

About The Author

Vivienne McMaster

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.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (March 2017)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501145858

Raves and Reviews

“Psychologically perceptive . . . Peterson's commitment to exploring the idea of monogamy is refreshingly attuned to the shifting power dynamics between two—then three—players. A crisp, exciting exploration of love, friendship, and everything in between. Peterson's one to watch.”

– Kirkus Reviews

“One of those rare books that is so honest and alluring that while reading it I felt the giddy intoxication of finding a new best friend.  In prose that seems simultaneously effortless and masterful, Zoey Leigh Peterson writes about the magical and ephemeral nature of love, the ebb and flow of relationships, the mysterious shifting of present into past. This book is smart and fresh and full of surprises, with characters who are so richly drawn, so complex and funny and achingly vulnerable that knowing them left me with a sense of being better known.  Upon finishing, I want to read every single thing Zoey Leigh Peterson has ever written and ever will write, books and stories, birthday cards and grocery lists.  This novel dazzled me.”

– Aryn Kyle, bestselling author of The God of Animals

“Zoey Leigh Peterson pulls off a difficult balancing act, creating deeply nuanced characters while sacrificing nothing for forward movement.  Her bright, clear prose is as addictive and deceiving as a bottle of prosecco:  you think one more sip, just one more sip--and before you know it, it’s three in the morning.”

– Katherine Heiny, author of Single, Carefree, Mellow

"What’s most impressive is that debut novelist Peterson has written a book that concretely explores the beginnings of an open relationship, its joys and pitfalls, and pulls it off in this easy-to-read and sympathetic character study."

– Booklist

“Peterson is a gifted storyteller... enthralling.”

– People Magazine

"Oddly moving, often funny... Fans of Lena Dunham and Noah Baumbach movies may especially enjoy."

– Library Journal

"Reductively describing Zoey Leigh Peterson’s stylish debut novel as 'about open relationships' pretty much misses the point. The novel does provoke, though, in the best ways... Peterson’s a marvel."

– The Toronto Star

"A couple dabbles in nonmonogamy in this superhot novel."

– Cosmopolitan

"A lively yet sensitive novel that examines both the possibilities and struggles inherent to loving beyond typical constraints...exactly what great and relevant literature should do... It’s all too easy to fall in love with these characters as they messily fall in love with each other."

– The Globe and Mail

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