Simon & Schuster - April 2014
Cara Hoffman, whose first novel was called “powerful” by The New Yorker and “fearless” by The New York Times Book Review, delivers an impassioned story about the effects of war on women—as soldiers and caregivers, both at home and on the front lines.
Lauren Clay has just returned from a tour of duty in Iraq in time to spend Christmas with her family. As she reconnects with her old friends, it’s clear to everyone in their rural New York town that something is wrong with Lauren. But her father is so happy to have her home that he ignores the warning signs—her odd behavior and the repeated phone calls from an Army psychologist. Things seem better when Lauren offers to take her younger brother Danny on a trip to visit their mother upstate. Instead, she guides Danny into the glacial woods of Canada on a quest to visit the Jeanne d’Arc basin, the site of an oil field that has become her strange obsession. As they set up camp in an abandoned hunting village, Lauren believes she’s teaching Danny survival skills for the day when she’s no longer able to take care of him. But where does she think she’s going, and what happened to her in Iraq that set her on this path?
With all the boldness and intelligence she brought to So Much Pretty, Cara Hoffman ignites the dark truth about war and homecoming in this literary page-turner that is sure to linger long after its surprising secrets are revealed.