Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny
A novel

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Like Graham, the novel gestures at darker corridors, mostly choosing to leave them untraveled. But as with any marriage, it’s better to take this novel just exactly as it is, rather than nitpick all the things that it’s not.
-NY Times

Synopsis

A divinely funny novel from the celebrated author of Single, Carefree, Mellow about the challenges of a good marriage, the delight and heartache of raising children, and the irresistible temptation to wonder about the path not taken.

When Graham Cavanaugh divorced his first wife it was to marry his girlfriend, Audra, a woman as irrepressible as she is spontaneous and fun. But, Graham learns, life with Audra can also be exhausting, constantly interrupted by chatty phone calls, picky-eater houseguests, and invitations to weddings of people he’s never met. Audra firmly believes that through the sheer force of her personality she can overcome the most socially challenging interactions, shepherding her son through awkward playdates and origami club, and even deciding to establish a friendship with Graham’s first wife, Elspeth.  Graham isn't sure he understands why Audra longs to be friends with the woman he divorced. After all, former spouses are hard to categorize—are they enemies, old flames, or just people you know really, really well? And as Graham and Audra share dinners, holidays, and late glasses of wine with his first wife he starts to wonder: How can anyone love two such different women? Did I make the right choice? Is there a right choice? A hilarious and rueful debut novel of love, marriage, infidelity, and origami, Standard Deviation never deviates from the superb.
 

About Katherine Heiny

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Katherine Heiny's fiction has been published in The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Narrative,Glimmer Train, and many other places. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and children. This is her first book.
 
Published May 23, 2017 by Knopf. 336 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Standard Deviation
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Kirkus

Excellent
on Feb 21 2017

...to spend 300-plus pages with Heiny’s wry voice and colorful cast of characters is to love them, truly. An amusingly engaging take on long-term marriage with a lovably loopy character at its center.

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NPR

Good
Reviewed by Heller McAlpin on May 23 2017

This book is about a marriage under stress — though Heiny keeps it bubbly, evoking the smart, stylish wit of Laurie Colwin, Nora Ephron, and Maria Semple.

Read Full Review of Standard Deviation: A novel | See more reviews from NPR

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Lydia Kiesling on Jul 07 2017

Like Graham, the novel gestures at darker corridors, mostly choosing to leave them untraveled. But as with any marriage, it’s better to take this novel just exactly as it is, rather than nitpick all the things that it’s not.

Read Full Review of Standard Deviation: A novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Claire Kohda Hazelton on Jun 13 2017

Heiny’s characters – charming, flawed, relatable, tragic, hilarious – are faultlessly constructed, lingering long in the memory like family or friends.

Read Full Review of Standard Deviation: A novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for Standard Deviation
82%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 6 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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