From Mary Laura Philpott, “writer of singular spark and delight” (Elizabeth Gilbert) and bestselling author of I Miss You When I Blink, comes a poignant and powerful new memoir-in-essays that tackles the big questions of life, death, and existential fear with humor and hope — or as she puts it: “Am I here to tell you we’re all going to die? Yes. Am I here to give you a pep talk along the way? Also yes!” 

A lifelong worrier, Philpott always kept an eye out for danger, a habit that only intensified when she became a parent. But she looked on the bright side too, believing that as long as she cared enough, she could keep her loved ones safe. 

Then, in the dark of one quiet, pre-dawn morning, she woke abruptly to a terrible sound — and found her teenage son unconscious on the floor. In the aftermath of a crisis that darkened her signature sunny spirit, she wondered: If this happened, what else could happen? And how do any of us keep going when we can’t know for sure what’s coming next? 

Leave it to the writer whose critically acclaimed debut had readers “laughing and crying on the same page” (NPR) to illuminate what it means to move through life with a soul made of equal parts anxiety and optimism. (And while she’s at it, to ponder the mysteries of backyard turtles and the challenges of spatchcocking a turkey.)

Hailed by the Washington Post as “Nora Ephron, Erma Bombeck, Jean Kerr, and Laurie Colwin all rolled into one,” Philpott returns in her distinctive voice to explore our protective instincts, the ways we continue to grow up long after we’re grown, and the limits — both tragic and hilarious — of the human body and mind. 


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