The Rest of Her Life

By Laura Moriarty
(Hyperion Books, Paperback, 9781401309435, 333pp.)

Publication Date: June 2008

List Price: $14.95*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '08/Winter '09 Reading Group List
“Filled with aching, lyrical passages that reveal the frailty of family, Moriarty's finely balanced writing illuminates the strained relationship of mother and daughter in the wake of tragedy. I will be gently pressing this book into hands of women and whispering, 'Read this.'”
-- Danielle Marshall, Powell's City of Books, Portland, OR

In The Rest of Her Life, Laura Moriarty delivers a luminous, compassionate, and provocative look at how mothers and daughters with the best intentions can be blind to the harm they do to one another. Leigh is the mother of high-achieving, popular high school senior Kara. Their relationship is already strained for reasons Leigh does not fully understand when, in a moment of carelessness, Kara makes a mistake that ends in tragedy--the effects of which not only divide Leigh's family, but polarize the entire community. We see the story from Leigh's perspective, as she grapples with the hard reality of what her daughter has done and the devastating consequences her actions have on the family of another teenage girl in town, all while struggling to protect Kara in the face of rising public outcry. Like the best works of Jane Hamilton, Jodi Picoult, and Alice Sebold, Laura Moriarty's The Rest of Her Life is a novel of complex moral dilemma, filled with nuanced characters and a page-turning plot that makes readers ask themselves, "What would I do?

About the Author
Laura Moriarty received her master's degree from the University of Kansas, and was awarded the George Bennett Fellowship for Creative Writing at Phillips Exeter Academy. Her first novel was The Center of Everything. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas.

Conversation Starters from


  1. Leigh is certainly a flawed human being. But what are her strengths -- as a mother and as a human being? What are her weaknesses? If her weaknesses are a product of her difficult childhood, why is her sister so different?

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