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The Daylight Marriage

Heidi Pitlor

Paperback

List Price: 15.95*
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Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (5/4/2015)
CD-Audio (5/5/2015)
Hardcover (5/5/2015)
Hardcover, Large Print (6/24/2015)

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
View the List

Description

“Hypnotically readable—absolutely couldn't put it down . . . This book is terrific.” —Stephen King

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 She has become withdrawn.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.

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

“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


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

“The novel’s easy blending of crime and family narrative deftly cracks open the closed world of Lovell and Hannah’s marriage. In this exploration of a woman lost, and a lost love, Pitlor exposes every secret -- frustrations, weaknesses, ugliness -- to the harsh light of day.” —Toronto Star

“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

“In this captivating and emotionally stirring new mystery that, dare I say, may even be better than Gone Girl . . . A riveting psychological thriller that let’s you work out your darkest fears with a gay twist? Yes, please!” —Advocate.com

“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

“Already read Room by Emma Donoghue? Consider The Daylight Marriage [next].” —Family Circle

“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

Algonquin Books, 9781616205317, 272pp.

Publication Date: January 5, 2016



About the Author

Heidi Pitlor is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage. She has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007 and the editorial director of Plympton, a literary studio. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Huffington Post, Ploughshares, and the anthologies It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Storiesand Art and Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers. She lives outside Boston.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

Why do you think Lovell and Hannah chose the jobs that they did? How do their jobs


contribute to their fates?


The author chose to tell this story from two points of view. What did this narrative choice add


to the story?


Why do you think Lovell and Hannah ended up getting married and staying together, even


after their incompatibilities became clear to them?


How does Lovell’s work serve as a metaphor for what happens elsewhere in his life?


Do you think Hannah’s fate was wholly accidental, or did she have some small say in it? Do


you think she was entirely unaware of the danger she faced on the beach?


What role do the neighbors, Stephen and Jeff, play in this book? Without them, what would be


lost?


What does the title mean to you?


Is Lovell a reliable character? Why or why not?


How does the author build suspense in this novel?


What does danger mean to Hannah? Why was it necessary to her?


Why wasn’t Lovell more receptive to the therapist, Dr. Valmer? Why weren’t the kids?


The members of the Hall family often chide each other for their language. What roles do


language and swearing have in this book?


What does Janine think has happened to her mother? How does this change throughout the


book? Why?


Do you think the author wrote this book more as a character study and a literary novel or as a


cautionary tale? Why?


Hannah once asked Lovell, “Do you ever get sick of trying to predict the precise movement


of every molecule in the atmosphere? When you look so close at something, doesn’t it start to


disappear? Doesn’t it lose its fundamental it-ness?” (page 184). What does this mean to you?


What do you think Hannah was talking about, beyond Lovell’s work?