The residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines the family-driven suspense of Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere with the inventive storytelling of The Immortalists.
In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful coworker in Ginny's own bed, and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny's husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she's on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.
At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.
Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day's debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we've entered another reality.
Advance praise for If, Then
"If, Then is one of the most addictive, propulsive page-turners I've ever read. It's also a gorgeous literary novel that asks us to imagine all the possible versions of ourselves that might exist. My desire to race to the finish was at all times competing with my urge to savor every line...? A must-read."—J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions
"In If, Then, Kate Hope Day negotiates the delicate balance between razor-sharp smarts and pure page-turning entertainment as well as any novel I've read—ever. Nothing escapes Day's prehensile intellect, from the intricacies of surgery to the real estate business to the effects of climate change—and, of course, the magic of alternate realities. If, Then brings to mind Tom Perrotta's The Leftovers, the best of Ursula K. Le Guin, Karen Russell, Kelly Link, and maybe even a splash of Stephen King. I suspect that everyone you know will be reading this book for years to come."—Daniel Torday, author of Boomer1