My new novel Never Coming Back has been in the world just over a month now. I’m grateful to the readers and reviewers who have responded to it with such heart. If you are one of them, I’d be eternally grateful if you’d post a positive review on Amazon or Goodreads. Never Coming Back is on the Midwest Indies bestseller list and is also a featured Midwest Connections pick for December.
The novel has been described as “book club gold” – music to a writer’s ears. In honor of book clubs everywhere, I’m offering free Skype visits to any book club who chooses to read Never Coming Back. No matter your time zone or when you hold your meeting, I promise to show up! And I’ll answer any and all questions as best I can.
Not only that, but I am hosting a giveaway along with a Skype visit to two book clubs. Each club will receive three signed copies of the novel in addition to a Skype visit. To enter the giveaway, like and share this post and your name will be added to the hat.
Some of my most treasured responses to the novel have come from readers’ personal emails, such as the reader who wrote, I wish I could elegantly express what this book meant to me, but at this point, the thoughts are still assembling themselves in my soul. I felt you were writing the book just for me. Silly, yes. But I felt it so profoundly that I may believe it when I’m old and doddering around. I wept for Tamar and Clara, for all of us who have unsaid important things, for all who want to ask the questions when we can get answers, even if we’re not ready.
What the critics are saying:
“A luminous novel.” (Kirkus)
“McGhee’s magnetic prose and her ability to pack a richly detailed story into a slim novel. Atmospheric and introspective, Never ComingBack will resonate with those who have lost a parent to illness or estrangement but still have questions they’d like to be answered.”—Booklist
“McGhee has an almost musical ability to repeat the themes of her novel with enough variation to keep them fresh. Fierce, complicated characters appear to grow out of the severe Adirondack landscape, and McGhee swerves away from sentimentality in addressing the relentlessly changing relationship at the novel’s core.” —Kirkus Reviews
“[A] poignant meditation on the relationship between a mother and daughter…this well-written story will appeal to a broad range of readers for its rich characterization, mothers and daughters will especially find Clara’s and Tamar’s story moving and memorable.”—Publishers Weekly
“McGhee’s latest novel… tackles the complexities of a mother-daughter relationship and the unresolved conflicts that can have lasting effects on both women.”—Library Journal
“Never Coming Back is a deeply moving exploration of growing up and growing old, and the ties that bind parents and children – and the mysteries that sometimes keep us apart.”—Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of The Sleepwalker, Midwives, and The Sandcastle Girls
“When a parent is involved, the journey of a caregiver can take the mind back through all the bumps and beauties of a complicated relationship and the heart and soul into new and challenging territory. Alison McGhee captures this–all the nuances and conflicts–in her beautifully written novel. Much to praise here but it is the remarkable characterization of the mother, the indomitable Tamar, who McGhee paints with such feeling, that lingers for me. A wise, humane book and a very special novelist.”—George Hodgman, New York Times bestselling author of Bettyville
“Alison McGhee returns to the landscape of the Adirondacks in this beautifully devastating novel about the things that remain unspoken between parent and child. Never Coming Back is an exquisite book, brim-full with nostalgia, love, regret, humor, yearning–and unforgettable prose.”—Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members
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Never Coming Back, my new novel, wrote itself in a compulsive rush of words. Questions tumbled out across the pages, fierce questions that I have spent my own life asking myself. Why do we so often hide so much from the people closest to us? Why, much of the time, do we assume that there will always be more time? Why, for so many of us, is it only at the end of life that we spill our secrets, desperately seeking to close the distance between ourselves and the people we most love?
How well can we ever really know one another?
Faulkner’s famous, ferocious question was one of the guiding lights behind Never Coming Back, a book about the relationship between two people –Tamar Winter and her daughter Clara– who, despite their profound love for each other, have never been able to talk about the secrets they hold in their hearts. But now Tamar has early-onset Alzheimer’s, and time is running out. Tamar and Clara struggle and stumble toward reconciliation, resolution, and clarity. They try, and try, and try again. Like most of us.