In this beautiful and moving novel about family, love, and growing up, Ann Patchett once again proves herself one of America’s finest writers.
“Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature.” —The Guardian
In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.
Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart. As in all of her novels, Ann Patchett combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. The result is a rich and luminous story, told with profound intelligence and emotional subtlety, that demonstrates once again why she is one of the most revered and acclaimed literary talents working today.
Ann Patchett is the author of novels, works of nonfiction, and children's books. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including the PEN/Faulkner, the Women's Prize in the U.K., and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novel The Dutch House was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. TIME magazine named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. President Biden awarded her the National Humanities Medal in recognition of her contributions to American culture. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the owner of Parnassus Books.
"Patchett’s intricate and subtle thematic web…enfolds the nature of storytelling, the evolving dynamics of a family, and the complex interaction between destiny and choice….These braided strands culminate in a denouement at once deeply sad and tenderly life-affirming. Poignant and reflective, cementing Patchett’s stature as one of our finest novelists." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“…a compelling narrative about the secret lives of parents—and how to find happiness in the midst of a long life.” — Time
"One of our greatest living chroniclers of love and marriage—and its resounding impacts over generations—is back this summer … Expect wonder; Patchett always delivers." — Elle
"Fans of The Dutch House and Commonwealth will be more than satisfied with Ann Patchett's latest novelistic exploration of love and family dynamics." — Harper’s Bazaar
"Patchett, beloved bookseller and chronicler of people thrown together in patched families and hostage situations, turns her attention to love — youthful, marital, fleeting, enduring." — NPR