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We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman
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We All Want Impossible Things

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Narrator Jane Oppenheimer

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Length 6 hours 55 minutes
Language English
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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Edi and Ash have been best friends for over forty years, a bond formed by a lifetime of memories. Since childhood they have seen each other through life's milestones: stealing vodka from their parents, REM concerts, unexpected Scottish wakes, marriages, infertility, children. As Ash notes, "Edi's memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine."

When Edi is diagnosed with the final stages of terminal ovarian cancer, she makes the painstaking decision to leave behind her husband and son to move to a hospice down the road from Ash. Fierce and loving, Ash's world reshapes around the rhythms of Edi's palliative care, from chipped ice and watermelon cubes to music therapy; from inadvisable Pringle-consumption to impromptu excursions out into the frozen Massachusetts winter night.

As the novel winds to its powerful conclusion, We All Want Impossible Things' unforgettable characters and the forcefields of love between them will touch readers to the core, throwing the full panorama - the humour, compassion and absurdity - of not only dying, but also of living, into bold relief.

'Devastatingly humorous and humorously devastating...an unbelievably brilliant and funny book about friendship, family, food, sex, and death. Catherine Newman serves up a masterclass in narrative - you'll stay up late devouring every word.' KATHERINE HEINY

'Nora-Ephron-style wit...comforting, so funny, moving but never mawkish and packed with all kinds of love. It's one of my favourite books ever' MARIAN KEYES

'Dazzling, heart-wrenching, snorty-hilarious...a masterclass on friendship, family love, memory, and the messiness of life, love and dying. An utter joy to read.' RACHEL JOYCE

© Catherine Newman 2022 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

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Reviews

I adored this book. Jubilant, devastating, tender, heartbreaking, I found myself both in tears and 'snorty-laughing'. I know it will be one of those novels I return to time and time again, and recommend to everyone. There is so much love, funniness, honesty, courage, mess, bounce and surprise in this book, and not shred of it is mawkish. Loss might be the central theme but it is also the most robust and glorious affirmation of life. A masterclass on friendship, family love, memory, and the messiness of life and love and dying. Pure genius. Rather a treat ... this novel is less about death than it is about life - the messy unpredictability, hideous unfairness and perplexity of it, as well as its one magnificent certainty: love. Remarkable ... A whip-smart, funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely characterised novel about how even the deepest of losses can be accompanied by a joyous affirmation of life. Imbued with love and humour ... this special book is in a class of its own. Newman's clearsighted and bracingly funny first novel is a moving celebration of friendship, love and cherished memories Expand reviews