We all want impossible things a novel

by Newman, Catherine, 1968-

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Edith and Ashley have been best friends for over forty-two years. They've shared the mundane and the momentous together: trick or treating and binge drinking; Gilligan's Island reruns and REM concerts; hickeys and heartbreak; surprise Scottish wakes; marriages, infertility, and children. As Ash says, "Edi's memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine." But now the unthinkable has happened. Edi is dying of ovarian cancer and spending her last days at a hospice near Ash, who stumbles into heartbreak surrounded by her daughters, ex(ish) husband, dear friends, a poorly chosen lover (or two), and a rotating cast of beautifully, fleetingly human hospice characters. As The Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack blasts all day long from the room next door, Edi and Ash reminisce, hold on, and try to let go. Meanwhile, Ash struggles with being an imperfect friend, wife, and parent--with life, in other words, distilled to its heartbreaking, joyful, and comedic essence. For anyone who's ever lost a friend or had one. Get ready to laugh through your tears.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Ashley's best friend, Edi, is dying. They've been close since their childhoods in New York City, practically sharing one mind. Edi's ovarian cancer has taken a turn for the worse, so she enters hospice in the Connecticut suburbs near Ash. As Ash watches her friend deteriorate, she struggles to reimagine her life without Edi. Ash moons over her ex, the father of her children, while also sleeping with several others in her inner circle. She works to keep Edi as comfortable as possible while coming to terms with her upcoming loss. The management of death is messy and unrelenting, and Ash finds herself at a crossroads, unable to choose a path. Newman, who has written essays and nonfiction for all ages, was profoundly transformed by her own experience of losing her best friend. She brings Ash to life through a voice that is both hilarious and filled with crushing sadness, but the ultimate message is that of hope. A crossover readalike for fans of death memoirs such as those by Paul Kalanithi and Nora McInerny."
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Newman's moving adult debut (after the kids' guide What Can I Say?) explores a lifelong friendship between two women, one of whom is dying. Set primarily in a hospice where Edi is dying of ovarian cancer, the story shifts between past and present to show the depth of Edi's lifelong bond with Ash--the childhood missteps, the joys, the Bowie concerts, and their "absolute dependability" for each other, as Ash puts it. When Edi receives her terminal prognosis, Ash becomes her primary bedside companion. But this isn't just a harrowing depiction of the heartbreak and indignity of Edi's decline, it's also about Ash, who stumbles through her disintegrating marriage, contends with her daughter's refusal to go to school, and takes a series of lovers. Ash also details the moments--at turns hilarious and sad--that make up her friendship, calling Edi's memories a "back-up hard drive" for her own. Here and throughout, Newman does a wonderful job channeling Ash's sense of impending loss. Ash also keeps up a steady stream of wickedly wry observations, such as her description of a group of children who visit Edi's bedside to play their recorders, "stand in a nervous semicircle, clutching their terrible instruments." Newman breathes ample life into this exquisite story of death and dying. (Nov.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Friendship Fiction
Black humor Fiction
Literary Fiction
Humorous fiction. lcgft
Humor (Fiction)
Publisher [Place of publication not identified] :HarperCollins,2022
Contributors OverDrive, Inc.
Audience General adult
Language English
System Details Mode of access: World Wide Web.
Format: Adobe EPUB eBook
Format: Kindle Book
Format: OverDrive Read
Requires Adobe Digital Editions or Amazon Kindle
Description 1 online resource
ISBN 9780063230910
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