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"Death looms in these four sparkling novellas—thus the book’s sly title—but until then there’s the wonder of life. Frank’s subjects include fascinating friendships and complicated marriages, awful parties and odd enthusiasm. Bonus: song mentions that add up to a terrifically eclectic playlist.” —Kim Hubbard, People Magazine
In her quartet of novellas, Joan Frank invites readers into the inner lives of characters bewildered by love, grief, and inexplicable affinities.
A young couple navigates a strange friendship and unexpected pregnancy; a woman recalls the bizarre fallout of her former lover's fame; a lonely widow is drawn to an arrogant young man; a wealthy spiritual seeker grapples with what wealth cannot affect. Witty and humane, Frank taps the riches of the novella form as she writes of loneliness, friendship, loss, and the filaments of intimacy that connect us through time.
“Welcome to Where You’re All Going (which is death, by the way—with various stops along the way)—four pieces that contend with the middle of life and beyond. Every novella in this book is, in part, about music, from jazz to classical to Marvin Gaye, and so it is not a surprise that such a keen sense of musicality would also play such a role in how the sentences and paragraphs are built. One could practically mark the first novella, ‘staccato’; every paragraph begs to be read aloud, to be heard. These are not stories of easy losses. They are messy ones, uncomfortable and unfinished. Readers will find respite in the honesty here: no one is spared. And no one is spared from a decency, either. The stories are, line after line, brimming with a brisk freshness.” —Aimee Margot Bender, Judge, 2018
“Reading each of these vivid, joyful, lyrical novellas is an immersive, life-affirming experience. As she's done in her terrific previous books, Joan Frank offers her readers fully realized worlds and unforgettable characters. I felt alive and awake in the very best sense as I read these novellas—I loved every moment.” —Christine Sneed, author of The Virginity of Famous Men and Little-Known Facts
“Each of these novellas is as satisfying as a whole book, but what I really love is the way, together, they tell a much bigger story—about love and loyalty and family and fear and joy. Where You’re All Going is full beauty and bounty.” —Ramona Ausubel, author of Awayland and Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty
“Joan Frank’s wonderful novellas are funny, edgy, poignant and true. Attuned to the predicaments of the slight-outsider, and of good people struggling to get by, Frank gives us characters dealing with love lost and love sustained, and the small essential intimacies that make up both. Her prose is vivid, her observations sharp, and everywhere music and song animate the conversation. You’ll feel more alive when you read these stories, and hold closer to you the people you cherish.” —Sylvia Brownrigg
"Joan Frank has an uncanny ability to go deeply into character and with the lightest touch show us how divided we humans are in the most complicated matters of the heart. Where You’re All Going is a marvel." —Ann Packer, NYT best-selling author of The Children’s Crusade