How the Light Gets In: A Novel (Hardcover)
From New York Times bestselling author Joyce Maynard comes the eagerly anticipated follow-up to her beloved novel Count the Ways—a complex story of three generations of a family and its remarkable, resilient, indomitable matriarch, Eleanor.
Following the death of her former husband, Cam, fifty-four-year-old Eleanor has moved back to the New Hampshire farm where they raised three children to care for their brain-injured son, Toby, now an adult. Toby’s older brother, Al, is married and living in Seattle with his wife; their sister, Ursula, lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Although all appears stable, old resentments, anger, and bitterness simmer just beneath the surface.
How the Light Gets In follows Eleanor and her family through fifteen years (2010 to 2024) as their story plays out against a uniquely American backdrop and the events that transform their world (climate change, the January 6th insurrection, school violence) and shape their lives (later-life love, parental alienation, steadfast friendship). With her trademark sensitivity and insight, Joyce Maynard paints an indelible portrait of characters both familiar and new making their way over rough, messy, and treacherous terrain to find their way to what is, for each, a place to call “home.”
About the Author
Joyce Maynard is the author of twelve previous novels and five books of nonfiction, as well as the syndicated column, “Domestic Affairs.” Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into sixteen languages. Her novels To Die For and Labor Day were both adapted for film. Maynard divides her time between homes in California, New Hampshire, and Lake Atitlan in Guatemala.
“Joyce Maynard has stitched together a warm, rich patchwork quilt of a novel that reminds us history is made up simply of our stories; and that even in broken, imperfect things one finds beauty and strength.” — Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A fearlessly candid, heartrendingly forthright examination of the joys and terrors of family life from the perspective of a woman of unusual sensitivity and empathy, Count the Ways takes us on a memorable journey.” — Joyce Carol Oates
"Wonderfully absorbing, precise and emotionally astute . . .I was moved by the characters' ambivalences, their misgivings, their anger, but most of all by their complex and fascinating love." — Marisa Silver, New York Times bestselling author of The Mysteries, on Count the Ways
“Joyce Maynard is the queen of the family saga, and Count the Ways is the best! Instantly addicting, the story of Eleanor, Cam, and their children pulls you in and wraps itself around you like an heirloom quilt made of familiarity, intimacy, and the orchestral complexity of loving the people closest to us. This is the novel you’ll be longing to return to at the end of every day and one you will re-read for years to come.” — Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family
“Cut[s] across moments of national and personal upheaval to examine the complex web of family against the backdrop of history.” — New York Times Book Review on Count the Ways
"The novel bites off a lot—a Brett Kavanaugh–inspired storyline, a domestic abuse situation, a trans child, Eleanor's career—and manages to resolve them all. . . Maynard creates a world rich and real enough to hold the pain she fills it with." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on Count the Ways
“How did Maynard know that this is exactly the book we all need now? This exhilaratingly brilliant novel isn’t just an indelible story of the falling dominoes of a family struggling through crisis and through generations, it’s also about the times we live through. . . . This gorgeous story reminds us that love is always, always worth it.” — Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You
“Count the Ways is an extraordinarily generous invitation into a woman’s intimate life, from the loneliness of her youth to the earned wisdom of middle age. In this richly imagined novel, Maynard never flinches as she portrays both quiet successes and heartbreaking failures at love, marriage, and motherhood. This is the work of one of our great storytellers.” — Meredith Hall, New York Times bestselling author of Beneficence
"Sensitively plumbing the complexity of human emotions, of love and forgiveness, [Maynard] draws readers into a deep, aching attachment to her characters, creating an ultimately hopeful tale just right for this moment." — Booklist (starred review)
“Readers will sink into Maynard’s masterful portrait of one woman’s life in this decades-spanning family saga.” — Library Journal (starred review)
“Joyce Maynard has, again, managed to tap flawlessly into the voice of a teenage girl: part hope, part fiction, and all heart. After Her is page-turning mystery, wrapped in a beautifully rendered story of sisterhood; and reading it is a journey through one’s own memory of what it meant to be thirteen, when the world was equally terrifying and fascinating. Books this compelling just don’t come around very often.” — Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author on After Her