A Simple Thing

A Simple Thing

By Kathleen McCleary

William Morrow & Company, Paperback, 9780062106230, 294pp.

Publication Date: July 2012


When Susannah Delaney discovers her young son is being bullied and her adolescent daughter is spinning out of control, she moves them to remote, rustic Sounder Island to live for a year. A simple island existencewith no computers or electricity and only a one-room schoolhouseis just what her over scheduled East Coast kids need to learn what's really important in life. But the move threatens her marriage to the man she's loved since childhood, and her very sense of self.

For Betty Pavalak, who moved to Sounder to save her own troubled marriage, the island has been a haven for fifty years. But Betty also knows the guilt of living with choices made long ago and actions that cannot be undone. The unlikely friendship between Susannah and Betty ignites a journey of self-discovery for both women and brings them both home to what they love most. A Simple Thing moves beyond friendship, children, and marriages to look deeply into what it means to love and forgiveyourself.

About the Author
Kathleen McCleary is a journalist and author whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, Ladies' Home Journal, More, and Good Housekeeping. Her second novel, A Simple Thing (2012), was recently nominated for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards. She has taught writing as an adjunct professor at American University and now teaches with Writopia Labs. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

Praise For A Simple Thing

“There is much to love about A Simple Thing: the way it transports you to another world; its delicate explorations of guilt and forgiveness; its lovely prose. But what I treasure most are its characters....”
-Marisa de los Santos

“A Simple Thing is a careful examination of friendship, marriage, and parenting; the choices we all face; and the battle so often waged between love and responsibility.”