Readers of Mad Honey will adore this clever, deeply touching, buoyant new novel from an award-winning author. When his difficult mother is diagnosed with ALS, a sharp-witted yet sensitive artist reluctantly returns to his New Hampshire hometown – and all the ghosts he left behind.
As it turns out, you can go home again. But sometimes, you really, really don’t want to . . .
Home, for Noah York, is Oakland, New Hampshire, the sleepy little town where Noah’s mother, Virginia, had a psychotic breakdown and Noah got beaten to a pulp as a teenager. Then there were the good times—and Noah’s not sure which ones are more painful to recall.
Now thirty-seven and eking out a living as an artist in Providence, Rhode Island, Noah looks much the same—and swears just as colorfully—as he did in high school. Virginia has become a wildly successful poet who made him the subject of her most famous poem, “The Lost Soul,” a label Noah will never live down. And J.D., the one who got away—because Noah stupidly drove him away—is in a loving marriage with a successful, attractive man whom Noah despises wholeheartedly.
Is it any surprise that Noah wishes he could ignore his mother’s summons to come visit?
But Virginia has shattering news to deliver, and a request he can’t refuse. Soon, Noah will track down the sister and extended family he never knew existed, try to keep his kleptomaniac cousin out of jail, feud with a belligerent neighbor, confront J.D.’s jealous husband—and face J.D. himself, the ache from Noah’s past that never fades. . . . All the while, contending with his brilliant, unpredictable mother.
Bittersweet, hilarious, and moving, and as unapologetically candid and unforgettable as Noah himself, The Language of Love and Loss is a story about growing older, getting lost—and finding your way back to the only truths that really matter.