You Are the Love of My Life

By Susan Richards Shreve
(W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393082807, 298pp.)

Publication Date: August 2012

List Price: $25.95*
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It is 1973 and Watergate is on everyone's lips. Lucy Painter is a children's book illustrator and a single mother of two. She leaves New York and the married father of her children to live in a tightly knit Washington neighborhood in the house where she grew up and where she discovered her father's suicide. Lucy hopes for a fresh start, but her life is full of secrets: her children know nothing of her father's death or the identity of their own father. As the new neighbors enter their insular lives, her family's safety and stability become threatened. From a writer whose unique presentation of human experience makes reading a delight (Elizabeth Strout), You Are the Love of My Life is a story of how shame leads to secrets, secrets to lies, and how lies stand in the way of human connection.

About the Author
SUSAN RICHARDS SHREVE has published thirteen novels, most recently A Student of Living Things. She is a professor of English at George Mason University and formerly cochair and president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. She has received several grants for fiction writing, including a Guggenheim fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts award. Shreve lives in Washington, D.C.

Conversation Starters from


  1. What do you make of Lucy’s mother’s decision to change their last name from Baldwin to Painter? How does this change connect to Lucy’s eventual future career as a children’s book author and illustrator?

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