Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke

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From the actor, director, and writer Ethan Hawke: a piercing novel of love, marriage, and renewal.

Jimmy is AWOL from the army, but—with characteristic fierceness and terror—he’s about to embark on the biggest commitment of his life. Christy is pregnant with Jimmy’s child, and she’s determined to head home, with or without Jimmy, to face up to her past and prepare for the future. Somehow, barreling across America from Albany to New Orleans to Ohio and Texas in a souped-up Chevy Nova, Christy and Jimmy are transformed from passionate but conflicted lovers into a young family on a magnificent journey.

Ash Wednesday is a novel of blazing emotion and remarkable grace, a tale that captures the intensity—the excitement, fear, and joy—of being on the threshold of the mysterious country of marriage and parenthood. Powerful, assured, large of heart, and punctuated by moments of tremendous humor, it represents, for Hawke the novelist, a major leap forward.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Ethan Hawke

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Ethan Hawke is best known for his starring roles in the motion pictures Dead Poets Society, Reality Bites, Gattaca, Before Sunrise, Hamlet, and Training Day, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. He is the cofounder and artistic director of the Malaparte Theater Company, based in New York, and the author of the novel The Hottest State. He lives in New York with his wife and two children.
Published July 23, 2002 by Vintage. 240 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Ash Wednesday

Kirkus Reviews

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The crushed and, unknown to Jimmy, pregnant Christy has taken the bus back to Texas via New York City, but the repentant and AWOL Jimmy catches her at Kingston and sticks an engagement ring under her nose, begging her to marry him.

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The Guardian

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Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke 288pp, Bloomsbury, £14.99 Ethan Hawke (bright young Hollywood star married to Uma Thurman) has followed his well-received debut novel, The Hottest State, with a second in which he tackles the thorny question of ego and the modern American male.

Oct 19 2002 | Read Full Review of Ash Wednesday

Publishers Weekly

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Hawke's protagonist, Jimmy Heartsick, is a bit like Holden Caulfield, except he sports a mustache ("Most guys with mustaches look like fags, but I don't.

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Publishers Weekly

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Hawke's text at times reads raw, but the novel's conversational tone, dual first-person narration and, above all, direct exploration of the simple truths of life and love make this a worthwhile tale and an honest one, sufficient to make most readers look forward to Hawke's next.

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Star Tribune

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As Jimmy and Christy narrate the story in alternating first-person chapters, they reveal themselves to be self-aware and thoughtful, but too inexperienced to have all the facts, let alone all the answers.

Aug 31 2002 | Read Full Review of Ash Wednesday

Book Reporter

My brother and I have conversations about Ethan Hawke all the time because he is always reminded of me when he sees Ethan Hawke and vice versa.

Jan 20 2011 | Read Full Review of Ash Wednesday

Entertainment Weekly

In conclusion, Jimmy -- ''a fresh gust of wind'' at his back -- declares, ''I felt new, like one or maybe all of us had been resurrected,'' prompting readers acquainted with the New Testament to ask: Should the title be ''Easter Sunday''?

Aug 09 2002 | Read Full Review of Ash Wednesday

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