Off Course (Paperback)
Picador, 9781250064455, 304pp.
Publication Date: April 7, 2015
"Skillful and perceptive . . . A complex portrait of a woman under the influence: of love, then obsession."—The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)
The year is 1981. The United States has just installed Ronald Reagan in the White House, and Cressida Hartley, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, has relocated to her parents' A-frame in the Sierras. There, she plans to finish her dissertation on art in the marketplace, but instead Cress finds herself drawn into the life of this small community—and into the orbit of Jakey Yates, the owner of the local lodge. When she takes a part-time job with a contractor, she meets the Morrow brothers, and her distractions begin to multiply.
As Cress falls prey to her own perilous reasoning, she strays into dark new territory, where she becomes subject to uncontrollable forces from both within and without. At once sharply observed and utterly enthralling, Off Course evokes the pull of an intense, impossible connection and reveals what happens when two people can't let go of one another or their previous commitments.
About the Author
Michelle Huneven is the author of the novels Blame, Round Rock and Jamesland. She has received a General Electric Foundation Award for Younger Writers and a Whiting Writers’ Award for fiction. She lives in Altadena, California.
Praise For Off Course: A Novel…
“Huneven's touch is sure . . . The landscape descriptions are erotic, and the erotic scenes have near-hallucinatory power.” —The New Yorker
“Skillful and perceptive...A complex portrait of a woman under the influence: of love, then obsession.” —The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)
“Huneven, a writer of great empathy and emotional precision, doesn't resort to cheap moralizing . . . She lets her characters play out their scenarios like real adults must--weighing the pleasures of the present against their own future guilt.” —Los Angeles Times
“Michelle Huneven delivers an enthralling tale of impulsive decisions, impossible love, and catastrophic consequences.” —Bustle
“Bring this to book clubs and test your friends' thresholds for reckless decisions.” —Marie Claire
“Huneven has a sharp facility with language that registers both the horror of how low Cress lets herself sink and the mundanity of it all.” —The Boston Globe
“[Huneven's] prose exudes such a rumpled, sensuous vibe, it practically gives you bedhead.” —Los Angeles Magazine
“The greatest triumph of Off Course lies in Huneven's remarkable ability to create a mood, and to bring the reader fully inside it.” —The Huffington Post
“Sensitive, reflective and uncomfortably true to life, with a wonderfully rich cast of supporting characters.” —Kirkus (starred review)
“If I had to highlight just one of Huneven's many abundant talents, it would be this: She makes you forget that the people you're reading about don't actually exist. You feel as if you were reading about your own family and friends… Michelle Huneven has produced a literary miracle.” —PopMatters