Standard deviation : a novel / Katherine Heiny.

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  • Additional Information
    • Edition:
      First edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "The celebrated author of Single, Carefree, Mellow, returns with her debut novel--a rueful, funny examination of love, marriage, infidelity, and origami. Divorcing his wife to marry his girlfriend, Audra, is the one impulsive thing Graham Cavanaugh has ever done. Audra is charming and spontaneous and fun, but life with her can be exhausting, constantly interrupted by phone calls, burdened by houseguests, and populated by old men with backpacks full of origami paper. As Graham and Audra struggle to define their marriage and raise a child with Asperger's, they decide to establish a friendship with his first wife, Elspeth. But former spouses are hard to categorize--are they friends, enemies, old flames, or just people who know you really, really well? Graham starts to wonder: How can anyone love two such different women? Did he make the right choice? Is there a right choice? A novel as poignant as it is hilarious, Standard Deviation never deviates from superb"-- Provided by publisher.
    • ISBN:
      9780385353816
      0385353812
    • LCCN:
      2016034884
    • OCLC:
      ocn956960340
      956960340
    • Accession Number:
      fay.529356

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2017 April #2

Heiny's first novel, following her story collection, Single, Carefree, Mellow (2015), offers an absorbing character study of modern-day relationships and parenthood. Graham lives in New York with his younger second wife, Audra, and their 10-year-old son, Matthew. Graham is the more reserved of the pair, while the loquacious Audra seems to makes friends with every person she meets. One day Graham unexpectedly runs into his ex-wife, Elspeth, whom he left for Audra. At Audra's urging, they set up a double date with Elspeth and her current boyfriend. Subsequent encounters between the two couples lead Graham to begin to examine and question the state of his current relationship as he ends up spending more time with Elspeth. Meanwhile, Graham and Audra struggle to find the best way to parent Andrew, whose unique social needs present all kinds of challenges. Heiny's characters are authentic, witty, and infused with life, and they hold their secrets close, whether to protect the ones they love or merely themselves. Heiny's novel offers a nuanced consideration of commitment, acceptance, and the desire for personal connection. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2016 December #1

Full of life, love, and projects, Graham's new wife, Audra, is the polar opposite of first wife Elspeth, which complicates things when Graham and Audra need to ask Elspeth for help. Heiny debuted big with the collection Single, Carefree, Mellow.. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

LJ Reviews 2017 March #2

Manhattan husband and father Graham Cavanaugh knows that he shouldn't compare his second wife, Audra, to first wife, Elspeth, but the contrast is too pronounced to ignore. Audra is always socializing and insisting that Graham participate even as he wistfully yearns for his more orderly existence with Elspeth. Yet, life with Graham and Audra's son, Matthew, a middle schooler with Asperger's, necessitates a wide social safety net, whether with Matthew's origami club members or with the few friends he makes at school. Graham simply can't revert to his Elspeth days but must jump on the crazy train with vivacious Audra and enjoy the ride. In this debut novel, (after the short story collection Single, Carefree, Mellow), Heiny handles the sensitive material with a deft, always humorous touch. VERDICT Contemporary fiction fans fond of urban settings and humor in the vein of Nora Ephron or Nick Hornsby should appreciate this tale of city life and marriage, while those searching for characters on the Asperger's spectrum could find young Matthew, portrayed as high functioning but challenging, authentic and recognizable as he navigates various connections with his parents and others. [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/16.]—Jennifer B. Stidham, Houston Community Coll. Northeast

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2017 March #3

This first novel from Heiny (Single, Carefree, Mellow) meanders cheerfully along, making up for its relative lack of action with its humor and insight into characters. Introverted, middle-aged Graham has been married for 12 years to his talkative, younger second wife Audra, and he's beginning to wonder whether they're really suited for each other, or if he should have stuck with his "tall and slim and regal" attorney ex-wife Elspeth, with whom he's just begun speaking again. Graham and Audra have a 10-year-old son, Matthew, who is socially awkward and obsessed with origami, and about whom they spend a good deal of their mental energy worrying. They host Thanksgiving for an assortment of quirky characters, including the misfit adults from Matthew's origami club; take their son and a friend they nickname "Derek Rottweiler" on an ill-fated fishing expedition; and attend an unexpected funeral. Heiny has a flair for peculiar but believable dialogue, and a generous attitude towards even the most inept characters, particularly Graham, whose befuddlement about his life choices and his longing to smooth things out for his son persist throughout the changes in his life. At the heart of the novel is a finely tuned awareness of the fragility of the most seemingly permanent connections and the ambivalence shot through even the hardiest forms of love. (May)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.