So Near

″Intriguing … A real page turner… Gyllenhaal juxtaposes the impact of a family disaster on a marriage against the economic woes of a small upstate New York town in her intriguing second novel. Cal and Jenny Horigan’s lives are upended when Cal is in a car accident and their two-year old daughter Betsy, whose car seat comes loose, is killed. Cal is eager to pursue a ‘wrongful death’ lawsuit against the company that manufactured the car seat, spurred on by his eldest brother Edmund, but Jenny–for her own complicated reasons–is strongly against the idea. The couple’s radically different reactions to Betsy’s death and the increasing wedge between them is ably explored using alternate viewpoints. While the townspeople rally around them, the knowledge that the Horigan name goes back in the town for generations, and the fact that Cal’s father’s business, and Cal and his older brother Kurt’s business are both seeing hard times is a quiet undercurrent to the story. In the middle of the crisis, a mysterious stranger arrives in town. Daniel Brandt, a charismatic landscape architect (and sociopath), enters the Horigans’ lives, offering balm to their misery and guilt, while taking advantage of their vulnerability.” — Publishers Weekly

″Unexpected, jarring and beautiful… Gyllenhaal doesn’t just invite us to follow a story from the sidelines.  She grabs our arm and yanks us right into the center of an emotional whirlwind…. Once again, Gyllenhaal demonstrates a deft hand at lyrical writing that subtly balances metaphors, philosophical realizations, and the realistic complexity of emotions.”—Jody Kordana, Berkshire Eagle

″A truly believable and compelling story…Liza Gyllenhaal plumbs the complexity of human emotions in this wonderful novel. With sensitivity and compassion she creates characters that will pull at your heart on their journey through grief.”—Katharine Davis, author of A Slender Thread

Paperback | 336 pages | NAL Trade | 9/6/11 | 045123457X | 9780451234575

Buy the book