In this dazzling debut novel about love and betrayal, a young couple moves to New York City in search of success-only to learn that the lives they dream of may come with dangerous strings attached.
Julia and Evan fall in love as undergraduates at Yale. For Evan, a scholarship student from a rural Canadian town, Yale is a whole new world, and Julia -- blond, beautiful, and rich -- fits perfectly into the future he's envisioned for himself. After graduation, and on the eve of the great financial meltdown of 2008, they move together to New York City, where Evan lands a job at a hedge fund. But Julia, whose privileged upbringing grants her an easy but wholly unsatisfying job with a nonprofit, feels increasingly shut out of Evan's secretive world.
With the market crashing and banks failing, Evan becomes involved in a high-stakes deal at work -- a deal that, despite the assurances of his Machiavellian boss, begins to seem more than slightly suspicious. Meanwhile, Julia reconnects with someone from her past who offers a glimpse of a different kind of live. As the economy craters, and as Evan and Julia spin into their separate orbits, they each find that they are capable of much more -- good and bad -- than they'd ever imagined.
Rich in suspense and insight, Anna Pitoniak's gripping debut reveals the fragile yet enduring nature of our connections: to one another and to ourselves. The Futures is a glittering story of a couple coming of age, and a searing portrait of what it's like to be young and full of hope in New York City, a place that so often seems determined to break us down -- but ultimately may be the very thing that saves us.
"The next great New York novel."-Town & Country
"A story that feels familiar yet wholly original, like every heartbreak ever."-Marie Claire
"Pitoniak's precise and incisive powers of observation give us a book with startling grace notes ... As in earlier, seminal novels about similar 20-something cohorts-among them Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City, Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho and Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar-the city is another mirror character, a puzzle the protagonists must solve as they come to grips with their own lives."-NPR.org
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Starry-eyed romance gives way to the stark realities of adulthood in this confident, well-crafted debut. A seemingly mismatched twentysomething couple fall in love and decide to pursue their fortunes in New York. Soon, both small-town Canadian boy Evan and upper-class Bostonian Julia are doubting each other and themselves. Anna Pitoniak is a keen observer of young people’s dreams and fears as they move into maturity. She lets Evan and Julia narrate their stories in alternating chapters that are honest without being overly sentimental and dramatic without being overwrought.
Set amid the 2008 financial collapse, Pitoniak's assured debut explores the cost of realizing and misinterpreting one's dreams. Evan Peck, the son of grocery-store owners in remote British Columbia, needs student loans and a hockey scholarship to afford the Ivy League, while Julia Edwards hails from Northeastern privilege. Meeting at Yale, they fall promptly in love despite their different upbringings. Upon graduation, Evan lands a plum job at a Manhattan hedge fund fighting to survive the deepening Wall Street meltdown, as Julia, unsure of her calling, settles for a low-level job at small nonprofit. Soon, the couple seems to share little more than their cramped apartment. An exhausted Evan worries when the deal he's working on turns out to have a shady underside; Julia finds in a charismatic journalist the sense of promise that neither work nor Evan gives her. As the distance between them leads to betrayal, they must face the ways they have sabotaged each other and themselves. Navigating terrain love and youth, college and city life that's often oversimplified, Pitoniak eschews clich for nuanced characterization and sharply observed detail. Evan and Julia ring true as 20-somethings, but Pitoniak's novel also speaks to anyone who has searched among possible futures for the way back to what Julia calls "the person I had been all along."