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  • Published: 12 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529177220
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $26.00

We All Want Impossible Things



'One of my favourite books ever' Marian Keyes; 'Dazzling' Rachel Joyce; 'You'll devour every word' Katherine Heiny; for fans of Nora Ephron and Sorrow and Bliss, a heart-wrenching, laugh-out-loud celebration of friendship at its imperfect and radiant best.

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

A treat - THE SUNDAY TIMES

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 joyful – RED

'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

  • Published: 12 September 2023
  • ISBN: 9781529177220
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $26.00

About the author

CATHERINE NEWMAN

Catherine Newman is an award-winning writer and columnist. She is the author of the memoirs Catastrophic Happiness and Waiting for Birdy, and the children's books One Mixed-Up Night, Stitch Camp, How to Be a Person and What Can I Say?. She edits the non-profit kids' cooking magazine ChopChop, writes the etiquette column for Real Simple magazine, and is a regular contributor to the New York Times, The Washington Post, O The Oprah Magazine, The Boston Globe, and many other publications. We All Want Impossible Things is her debut novel for adults. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her family.

Praise for We All Want Impossible Things

A riotously funny and fiercely loyal love letter to female friendship. The story of Edi and Ash proves that a best friend is a gift from the gods.... I laughed while crying, and was left revived. Newman is a comic masterhand and a dazzling philosopher of the day-to-day.

AMITY GAIGE, author of SEA WIFE

The funniest, most joyful book about dying - and living - that I have ever read.

K J DELL'ANTONIA, author of the New York Times bestselling THE CHICKEN SISTERS

Catherine Newman sees the heartbreak and comedy of life with wisdom and unflinching compassion. The way she finds the extraordinary in the everyday is nothing short of poetry. She's a writer's writer-and a human's human.

KATHERINE CENTER , New York Times bestselling author

An absolute heartbreaker of a novel. Catherine Newman's book... is a celebration of life. For anyone who has prepared a hole in their heart for loss, We All Want Impossible Things is a reminder that, in time, that hollowed hallowed space is also there for when the light and love pour back in.

LAURA ZIGMAN, author of SEPARATION ANXIETY

Devastatingly humorous and humorously devastating, We All Want Impossible Things is an unbelievably brilliant and funny book about friendship, family, food, sex, and death. Catherine Newman serves up a masterclass in narrative - you'll stay up late devouring every word.

KATHERINE HEINY, author of EARLY MORNING RISER and STANDARD DEVIATION

I adored this book. Jubilant, devastating, tender, heartbreaking, I found myself both in tears and 'snorty-laughing'. I know it will be one of those novels I return to time and time again, and recommend to everyone. There is so much love, funniness, honesty, courage, mess, bounce and surprise in this book, and not shred of it is mawkish. Loss might be the central theme but it is also the most robust and glorious affirmation of life. A masterclass on friendship, family love, memory, and the messiness of life and love and dying. Pure genius.

RACHEL JOYCE

How did Catherine Neman write a book about dying that is so luminously alive? Earthy, funny, and terrifyingly honest - this is a book with heart and guts and all the other goopy gravt we need to stay among the living. A radical delight.

RUFI THORPE

Newman perfectly captures the beauty and burden of caring for someone in their final moments while showing the gift of Edi and Ash's once-in-a-lifetime friendship. A warm and remarkably funny book that will make readers laugh through their tears.

KIRKUS

Breezy New York Nora-Ephron-style wit meets hospice memoir to create something profoundly beautiful...comforting, so funny, moving but never mawkish and packed with all kinds of love. It's one of my favourite books ever.

MARIAN KEYES

I absolutely adored this...what a beautiful, emotional novel it is, both heart-breaking and heart mending, with flawed, oh-so-human characters and events extolling the joy and pain of love, loss and life-long friendship.

JILL MANSELL

Smart and funny and devastating, We All Want Impossible Things has huge Sorrow and Bliss vibes and I didn't want it to end.

LAURA PEARSON

We All Want Impossible Things is one of those books I will be buying for everyone I know. A funny, moving, beautifully written book, I laughed and cried in equal measure. It is both a unique and wise take on friendship, love and loss that will stay with me for a very long time.

JENNIE GODFREY, author of THE LIST OF SUSPICIOUS THINGS

Heart-breaking and heart-warming in equal measure, We All Want Impossible Things is 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

Gloriously funny, utterly heartbreaking, and really just brilliant, We All Want Impossible Things is one of the best novels on friendship I've ever read. I loved it.

AJ PEARCE, author of DEAR MRS BIRD

Tragically funny, with moments of clarity and wisdom, Newman writes loss and laughter in equally brilliant amounts.

BONNIE GARMUS, author of LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY

This is a proper laugh-out-loud tale of friendship that will utterly win your heart ... A truly special book - prepare to read this, fall in love and then hector everyone you know into reading it.

STYLIST

Funny and tender and life affirming and quite simply GLORIOUS....The way the friendship is depicted in this story is a masterpiece... To say I have been deeply moved by this book would be an understatement. My heart is broken after finishing it this morning but it is also singing.

SARAH TURNER

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.

THE SUNDAY TIMES

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

Devastatingly funny ... handled with compassion and courage in elegant prose lightened by honest humour.

MAIL ON SUNDAY

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

i

A celebration of friendship and family

FABULOUS

Book of the month

GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

Utterly life-affirming and joyful

RED

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

Beautiful and emotional ... heartbreakingly sad, but also full of humour and ultimately about living and love. I will recommend this to everyone.

PRIMA

Funny, bitter and life-affirming

GRAZIA

This is a story about holding on, the power of creating memories and, ultimately, letting go. Tissues at the ready.

THE HANDBOOK

Smart dialogue and cutting wit ... an accomplished writer

IRISH TIMES

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

EVENING STANDARD

A profound study of grief, love and friendship that will resonate with anyone who has lost someone special ... there are plenty of funny and touching moments in this beautiful novel that will make your heart soar.

HEAT

In Newman's hands... this tale of love and friendship is tender, funny, life-affirming joy.

MARIE CLAIRE, 'Best Books of 2023'

The most wonderful book in the way it celebrates friendship. I highly recommend it.

MARIELLA FROSTRUP, TIMES RADIO

Impossible not to weep. Yet, we also find ourselves laughing out loud through the tears ... For all the sense of tragedy and loss, we see Ash develop renewed gratitude for the beauty and humour in even the most mundane moments of life.

DAILY EXPRESS

I have heard nothing but good things about [We All Want Impossible Things] and they were all quite right - it's so warm and funny and full of great observations ... it looks set for rip-roaring success, deservedly so!

CLARE CHAMBERS, author of SMALL PLEASURES

For the last two days I have done nothing but read this book or think longingly about when I can return to reading this book. It's sad, and confronting, and comforting, and life-affirming all at the same time. Congrats, Catherine Newman, on an astonishing debut.

KATIE BISHOP, author of THE GIRLS OF SUMMER

Full of humour, warmth, and raw honesty ... a beautiful, uplifting testament to female friendship that will make you laugh and cry

WOMAN

5 stars

SUNDAY EXPRESS

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

DAILY MAIL

Unique, touching and immersive

NB Magazine

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