Three generations of women strive for real freedom in this startling, provocative novel exploring sexuality, gender, and maternal ambivalence, from the acclaimed author of The Best Kind of People.
“In the best books, characters feel like my friends, but with the mothers of The Spectacular, they came to feel like my family.”—Torrey Peters, author of Detransition, Baby
It’s 1997 and Missy is a cellist in an indie rock band on tour across America. At twenty-two years old, she gets on stage every night and plays the song about her absent mother that made the band famous. As the only girl in the band, she’s determined to party just as hard as everyone else, loving and leaving a guy in every town. But then she meets a tomboy drummer who is hard to forget, and a forgotten flap of cocaine strands her at the border.
Fortysomething Carola is just surfacing from a sex scandal at the yoga center where she has been living when she sees her daughter, Missy, for the first time in ten years—on the cover of a music magazine.
Ruth is eighty-three and planning her return to the Turkish seaside village where she spent her childhood. But when her granddaughter, Missy, winds up crashing at her house, she decides it’s time that the strong and stubborn women in her family find a way to understand one another again.
In this sharply observed novel, Zoe Whittall captures three very different women who each struggle to build an authentic life. Definitions of family, romance, gender, and love will radically change as they seek out lives that are nothing less than spectacular.