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How the Light Gets In: Book summary and reviews of How the Light Gets In by Joyce Maynard

How the Light Gets In

A Novel

by Joyce Maynard

How the Light Gets In by Joyce Maynard X
How the Light Gets In by Joyce Maynard
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  • Publishes
    Jun 25, 2024
    432 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard comes the eagerly anticipated follow-up to her beloved novel Count the Ways—a complex story of three generations of a family and its remarkable, resilient, indomitable matriarch, Eleanor.

Following the death of her former husband, Cam, fifty-four-year-old Eleanor has moved back to the New Hampshire farm where they raised three children to care for their brain-injured son, Toby, now an adult. Toby's older brother, Al, is married and living in Seattle with his wife; their sister, Ursula, lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Although all appears stable, old resentments, anger, and bitterness simmer just beneath the surface.

How the Light Gets In follows Eleanor and her family through fifteen years (2010 to 2024) as their story plays out against a uniquely American backdrop and the events that transform their world (climate change, the January 6th insurrection, school violence) and shape their lives (later-life love, parental alienation, steadfast friendship). With her trademark sensitivity and insight, Joyce Maynard paints an indelible portrait of characters both familiar and new making their way over rough, messy, and treacherous terrain to find their way to what is, for each, a place to call "home."

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"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." —Library Journal (starred review)

"If ever we needed a novel capable of healing our troubled, world-weary souls, that time is now. But where, oh where, is the book? Actually, it has arrived: Joyce Maynard's new novel, How the Light Gets In. And what a gift it is." —Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls and the North Bath Trilogy of Fool novels

"Joyce Maynard has stitched together a warm, rich patchwork quilt of a novel that reminds us history is made up simply of our stories; and that even in broken, imperfect things one finds beauty and strength." —Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"Joyce Maynard's How the Light Gets In grabbed ahold of me in the first chapter and didn't let go until I'd finished the epilogue. A master storyteller at the top of her game, Maynard populates her story with characters I worried about, rooted for, and related to. I LOVED this book!" —Wally Lamb, #1 New York Times bestselling author

This information about How the Light Gets In was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Joyce Maynard Author Biography

A native of New Hampshire, Joyce Maynard began publishing her stories in magazines when she was thirteen years old. She first came to national attention with the publication of her New York Times cover story, "An Eighteen Year Old Looks Back on Life," in 1972, when she was a freshman at Yale. Since then, she has been a reporter and columnist for the New York Times, a syndicated newspaper columnist whose "Domestic Affairs" column appeared in over fifty papers nationwide, a regular contributor to NPR and national magazines including Vogue, the New York Times Magazine, and many more. She is a longtime performer with The Moth.

Joyce Maynard is the author of eighteen books, including the New York Times bestselling novels, Labor Day and To Die For (both adapted for film), Under the Influence...

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