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We All Want Impossible Things
“One of my top books for 2022! Ash cares for her friend in hospice while grappling with the other relationships in her life. Newman captures the mundanity and comedy that arises even in the most tragic circumstances. For example, one of the other hospice residents listens to Fiddler on The Roof twice a day, and the comfort animal, a golden retriever named Farrah Fawcett, is afraid of music, so hides every time the music starts.”Amy,
A Great Good Place for Books
“Catherine Newman sees the heartbreak and comedy of life with wisdom and unflinching compassion. The way she finds the extraordinary in the everyday is nothing short of poetry. She’s a writer’s writer—and a human’s human.”—New York Times bestselling author Katherine Center
“A riotously funny and fiercely loyal love letter to female friendship. The story of Edi and Ash proves that a best friend is a gift from the gods. Newman turns her prodigious talents toward finding joy even in the friendship’s final days. I laughed while crying, and was left revived. Newman is a comic masterhand and a dazzling philosopher of the day-to-day.”—Amity Gaige, author of Sea Wife
“The funniest, most joyful book about dying—and living—that I have ever read.”—KJ Dell'Antonia, author of the New York Times bestselling The Chicken Sisters
For lovers of Meg Wolitzer, Maria Semple, and Jenny Offill comes this raucous, poignant celebration of life, love, and friendship at its imperfect and radiant best.
Edith and Ashley have been best friends for over forty-two years. They’ve shared the mundane and the momentous together: trick or treating and binge drinking; Gilligan’s Island reruns and REM concerts; hickeys and heartbreak; surprise Scottish wakes; marriages, infertility, and children. As Ash says, “Edi’s memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine.”
But now the unthinkable has happened. Edi is dying of ovarian cancer and spending her last days at a hospice near Ash, who stumbles into heartbreak surrounded by her daughters, ex(ish) husband, dear friends, a poorly chosen lover (or two), and a rotating cast of beautifully, fleetingly human hospice characters.
As The Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack blasts all day long from the room next door, Edi and Ash reminisce, hold on, and try to let go. Meanwhile, Ash struggles with being an imperfect friend, wife, and parent—with life, in other words, distilled to its heartbreaking, joyful, and comedic essence.
For anyone who’s ever lost a friend or had one. Get ready to laugh through your tears.