The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
A Novel

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Using small-town life as a springboard to explore the loftiest of ideas, Haven Kimmel’s irresistibly smart and generous first novel is at once a romance and a haunting meditation on grief and faith. Langston Braverman returns to Haddington, Indiana (pop. 3,062) after walking out on an academic career that has equipped her for little but lording it over other people. Amos Townsend is trying to minister to a congregation that would prefer simple affirmations to his esoteric brand of theology.

What draws these difficult—if not impossible—people together are two wounded little girls who call themselves Immaculata and Epiphany. They are the daughters of Langston’s childhood friend and the witnesses to her murder. And their need for love is so urgent that neither Langston nor Amos can resist it, though they do their best to resist each other. Deftly walking the tightrope between tragedy and comedy, The Solace of Leaving Early is a joyous story about finding one’s better self through accepting the shortcomings of others.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Haven Kimmel

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Haven Kimmel is the author of The Used World, She Got Up Off the Couch, Something Rising (Light and Swift), The Solace of Leaving Early, and A Girl Named Zippy. She studied English and creative writing at Ball State University and North Carolina State University and attended seminary at the Earlham School of Religion. She lives in Durham, N.C. Peter Brown is the author of Children Make Terrible Pets and the critically acclaimed artist of Chowder and Flight of the Dodo.  He is a graduate of the Art Center College of Design in Pasedena, California.  He now lives in Brooklyn, New York.  Visit Peter at
Published July 23, 2002 by Anchor. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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It focuses on almost-30 Langston Braverman’s abandonment of graduate school and return to her hometown, the murder of Langston’s childhood friend and its “miraculous” aftereffect on the latter’s two small daughters, and the recurring crises of faith and nerve that afflict pastor Amos Townsend, wh...

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Entertainment Weekly

THE SOLACE OF LEAVING EARLY Haven Kimmel (Doubleday, $23.95) Could a great story ever come out of Haddington, Indiana, a small town that ''lacked the power of the tenement, the beauty of the gothic ruin...''?

Jul 19 2002 | Read Full Review of The Solace of Leaving Early: ...

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