The Daylight Marriage (Hardcover)

By Heidi Pitlor

Algonquin Books, 9781616203689, 256pp.

Publication Date: May 5, 2015

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

May 2015 Indie Next List

“After being together many years and having two children, Hannah and Lovell Hall are a married couple growing apart. One night they have a terrible argument in which both accusations and personal objects are thrown. The next morning the unthinkable happens and Hannah disappears. Was this her decision or someone else's? Did her husband take an unforgivable step? The Daylight Marriage is a kinder, gentler Gone Girl with characters readers actually might want to know, a page-turner that explores the depths of human relationships as well as the consequences of even the smallest decision.”
— Sharon Nagel, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
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Description

“A page-turning exploration of unexpressed love and unnecessary loss. Riveting and heartbreaking.” —GERALDINE BROOKS, author of Caleb’s Crossing

She still had time before work. She could go food shopping. She could fold the kids’ laundry and get the car washed and return some library books. Or Hannah could do something else. She could do something that she had never done--drive to a part of town where she had never been, pretend to be someone that she was not.

Hannah was tall and graceful, naturally pretty, spirited and impulsive, the upper-class young woman who picked, of all men, Lovell--the introverted climate scientist who thought he could change the world if he could just get everyone to listen to reason. After a magical honeymoon, they settled in the suburbs to raise their two children.

But over the years, Lovell and Hannah’s conversations have become charged with resentments and unspoken desires. She has become withdrawn. His work affords him a convenient distraction. And then, after one explosive argument, Hannah vanishes.

For the first time, Lovell is forced to examine the trajectory of his marriage through the lens of memory. As he tries to piece together what happened to his wife--and to their life together--readers follow Hannah on that single day when a hasty decision proves irrevocable.

With haunting intensity, a seamless balance of wit and heartbreak, and the emotional acuity that author Heidi Pitlor brings to every page, The Daylight Marriage mines the dark and delicate nature of a marriage.

“In The Daylight Marriage, there are two mysteries--the whereabouts of a missing woman and the vagaries of the human heart. Heidi Pitlor explores both of these enigmas with equal mastery, merging a shocking crime story with an incisive portrait of a failed marriage. The result is a novel that is fast-moving, emotionally complex, and ultimately heartbreaking.” —Tom Perrotta, author of Nine Inches

“Pitlor brings forth the emotions that surge beneath the surface with the precision and power of a conductor . . . This powerful analysis of how dreams become nightmares will make readers want to hold their loved ones close.” Booklist, starred review


About the Author

Heidi Pitlor grew up in Concord, Massachusetts, and got her BA at McGill University and her MFA at Emerson College in Boston. She was a senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for nine years before she became the series editor of The Best American Short Stories. She has worked with Salman Rushdie, Alice Sebold, Richard Russo, Elizabeth Strout, and others. She is the author of the novel The Birthdays and her fiction and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, the Huffington Post, and Labor Day: True Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers. In Fall 2015, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories, which she coedited with Lorrie Moore. Heidi lives outside Boston with her husband and twin son and daughter.


Praise For The Daylight Marriage

An Indie Next Pick

Selected as a Best Beach Read by Coastal Living magazine, Family Circle, The Advocate, and Health magazine


“Likely to linger in the reader’s mind . . . a perfect microscope with which to examine the inexhaustible fascinations of marriage, and as Pitlor flashes between the day of Hannah’s disappearance and Lovell’s uneasy consideration of their past resentments, she finds a nice voice -- thoughtful, lyrical, unforced." —New York Times Book Review

“Despite the acrid marriage, the his-and-hers narration, and the fact that Lovell quickly emerges as the primary suspect, this isn’t really another Gone Girl.  It’s more an exploration of the way that the tiniest and most impetuous of decisions can suddenly recast a person’s life.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Hypnotically readable--I absolutely couldn't put it down. The structure is brilliant, and I turned the pages with increasing dread. This book is terrific.” —Stephen King

“Beyond the novel’s taut suspense and subtle characterization, Pitlor’s vivid prose provides an additional pleasure . . . The novel’s suspense lasts right until its shocking climax, but the ‘messy, wonderful, excruciating lives’ of its characters linger in the mind long after the last page.” —The Boston Globe

“Fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train will delight in this familiar tale . . .  The mystery will keep you on the edge of your beach chair, but the real attraction to this book is the author’s beautiful portrayal of a marriage in peril, of two people whose lives have become heartbreakingly ordinary, and how it forever altered their personalities.” —Coastal Living

“This Stephen King-approved ‘hypnotically readable’ novel involves a wife who’s vanished and a husband who’s trying to understand what’s happened, but it’s not just another Gone Girl.”—Health Magazine

“Riveting and distinctive.” —BBC

“The strength of The Daylight Marriage lies in its structure, coupled with a clear, piercing cadence in each sentence.” —Los Angeles Review of Books

"This spellbinding novel of suspense from the author of The Birthdays is told with great sympathy, as tension builds toward an inexorable conclusion. It can also be read as a cautionary tale both about a failed marriage and about how one impulsive decision can lead to a very dark place.” —Library Journal

 
  
“Pitlor brings forth the emotions that surge beneath the surface with the precision and power of a conductor . . . This powerful analysis of how dreams become nightmares will make readers want to hold their loved ones close.”Booklist,  starred review