If, then A novel

Kate Hope Day

Book - 2019

"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 co-worker 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 h...is 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." --Amazon.com.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Subjects
Genres
Science fiction
Psychological fiction
Published
New York : Random House [2019]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
260 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN
9780525511229
0525511229
Main Author
Kate Hope Day (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Day's complex debut explores the mind-bending idea that for every decision made, alternate choices lead to different lives. Four neighbors, living at the foot of a dormant volcano in a peaceful Pacific Northwest community, experience a series of unprecedented events. Those incidents will weave their lives together in unexpected ways. Each is suffering from loneliness, loss, resentment, disappointment, and frustration: a successful surgeon too wrapped up in her job, her research-scientist husband seeking acceptance, a new mom longing to complete her abandoned Ph.D., and a grieving daughter reluctantly taking up the life her mother left behind. They all begin having visions,"‘what if" scenarios of how their lives could be if another choice is made. The options are tempting, and each decides to follow that different course, some for the better, others falling prey to dangerous obsession. When those paths start intersecting, and the mountain starts to rumble, everyone will wonder if their choice of another life is real or simply a delusion. Multiverse-theory fans will enjoy the speculation offered in this novel. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The lives of three neighboring families in Clearing, Ore., become inexorably entwined in Day's captivating debut novel of parallel worlds. Dr. Ginny McDonnell, a surgeon, feels disconnected from her son, Noah, and her husband, Mark, a behavioral ecologist convinced that nearby Broken Mountain, a volcano, isn't quite as dormant as many believe. Realtor Samara Mehta is still reeling from her mother's death on the operating table and blames the surgeon, Ginny. Cass Stuart is taking a break from earning her PhD in metaphysics to care for her baby girl but longs to continue her research on the theory of everything and the possibility of a multiverse. Cass, Ginny, and Mark start to glimpse different versions of themselves and Samara of her mother, preceded by a bad taste and a trembling under their feet, while Broken Mountain awakens nearby. Often, Day seamlessly slips readers in and out of realities with little warning, and the scenes in which characters observe and, at times, interact with, their alternate realities are intimate, eerie, and startling, such as Mark's encounters with the wild, disheveled man he dubs "Other Mark." Effortlessly meshing the dreamlike and the realistic, Day's well-crafted mix of literary and speculative fiction is an enthralling meditation on the interconnectedness of all things. (Mar.) Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Four neighbors in a quiet Oregon mountain community find their lives upended when they begin to experience disturbing visions of an alternate reality, before a natural disaster reveals an astonishing town secret.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Four neighbors in a quiet Oregon mountain community find their lives upended when they begin to experience disturbing visions of an alternate reality, before a natural disaster reveals an astonishing town secret. A first novel.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

'A must-read'a gorgeous literary novel that asks us to imagine all the possible versions of ourselves that might exist.''J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All OccasionsThe residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an 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 co-worker 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.Praise for If, Then 'Hope Day has a lot of sly, stealthy fun with time-bending and parallel universes, but she also has serious things to say on urban paranoia, climate change and the atomized nature of modern life.''Daily Mail 'If, Then has the narrative propulsion of a television show . . . [It's] a whirlwind of a story.''Chicago Review of Books 'Effortlessly meshing the dreamlike and the realistic, [Kate Hope] Day's well-crafted mix of literary and speculative fiction is an enthralling meditation on the interconnectedness of all things.''Publishers Weekly (starred review)