We All Want Impossible Things

We All Want Impossible Things

The funny, moving Richard and Judy Book Club pick 2023

Summary

'Tragically funny, with moments of clarity and wisdom, Newman writes loss and laughter in equally brilliant amounts.' BONNIE GARMUS

'Nora-Ephron-style wit...comforting, so funny, moving... one of my favourite books ever' MARIAN KEYES

'Dazzling, heart-wrenching, snorty-hilarious... An utter joy to read' RACHEL JOYCE

'An absolute masterpiece in characterisation... utterly beautiful.' JOANNA CANNON

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Who knows you better than your best friend? Who knows your secrets, your fears, your desires, your strange imperfect self?

Edi and Ash have been best friends for over forty years. Since childhood they have seen each other through life's milestones: stealing vodka from their parents, the Madonna phase, REM concerts, unexpected wakes, marriages, infertility, children. As Ash notes, 'Edi's memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine.'

So when Edi is diagnosed with cancer, Ash's world reshapes around the rhythms of Edi's care, from making watermelon ice cubes to music therapy; from snack smuggling to impromptu excursions into the frozen winter night. Because life is about squeezing the joy out of every moment, about building a powerhouse of memories, about learning when to hold on, and when to let go.

For fans of Nora Ephron and Sorrow & Bliss, We All Want Impossible Things is a deeply moving, jubilant celebration of life and friendship at its imperfect, radiant, and irreverent best.

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'You'll stay up late devouring every word' KATHERINE HEINY

'One of the best novels on friendship I've ever read' AJ PEARCE

'I absolutely adored this...what a beautiful, emotional novel' JILL MANSELL

'Shot through with whip-smart humour and boundless compassion. It's one of the best debuts I've read in a long time.' HANNAH BECKERMAN

Reviews

  • Rather a treat ... this novel is less about death than it is about life - the messy unpredictability, hideous unfairness and perplexity of it, as well as its one magnificent certainty: love.
    THE SUNDAY TIMES

About the author

Catherine Newman

Catherine Newman is the author of the memoirs Catastrophic Happiness and Waiting for Birdy, and the bestselling children's book How to be a Person. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Parents magazine, and many other publications. Her debut novel for adults, We All Want Impossible Things, was chosen for the Richard & Judy Book Club. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family.
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