We All Want Impossible Things

We All Want Impossible Things


Discover the powerful Richard & Judy Book Club Pick, perfect for fans of Nora Ephron and Sorrow and Bliss

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

'Newman writes loss and laughter in equally brilliant amounts.' BONNIE GARMUS

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

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, REM concerts, 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 and music therapy to snack smuggling and impromptu excursions into the frozen winter night.

Because life is about squeezing the joy out of every moment and building a powerhouse of memories, about learning when to hold on, and when to let go.

Deeply moving yet laugh-out-loud funny, We All Want Impossible Things is a jubilant celebration of life and friendship at its imperfect, radiant, and irreverent best.

COMING SOON: Look out for SANDWICH, the joyful new novel from Catherine Newman and the perfect summer read

Praise for We All Want Impossible Things:

Full of humour, warmth and eye-popping honesty ... a beautiful, candid and uplifting testament to female friendship that will make you laugh and cry - WOMAN & HOME

This tale of love and friendship is tender, funny, life-affirming joy. - MARIE CLAIRE, 'Best Books of 2023'

We All Want Impossible Things is a thing of rare beauty: sweet and sharp, to be devoured, then remembered and loved life-long. – i

Devastatingly funny ... handled with compassion and courage in elegant prose lightened by honest humour. - MAIL ON SUNDAY


Remarkable ... A whip-smart, funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely characterised novel about how even the deepest of losses can be accompanied by a joyous affirmation of life. - OBSERVER

Imbued with love and humour ... this special book is in a class of its own. - EVENING STANDARD

Newman's clearsighted and bracingly funny first novel is a moving celebration of friendship, love and cherished memories - DAILY MAIL

Utterly life-affirming and joyfulRED

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

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

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

'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


  • 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.

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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