Celebrated for her irresistibly witty, strikingly intelligent examinations of friendship and marriage, Lauren Fox (“An immensely gifted writer—a writer adept at capturing the sad-funny mess that happens to be one woman’s life” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times) has written her most powerful novel to date. Days of Awe is the story of a woman who, in the wake of her best friend’s sudden death, must face the crisis in her marriage, the fury of her almost-teenage daughter, and the possibility of opening her cantankerous heart to someone new.
Only a year ago Isabel Moore was married, was the object of adoration for her ten-year-old daughter, and thought she knew everything about her wild, extravagant, beloved best friend, Josie. But in that one short year her husband moved out and rented his own apartment; her daughter grew into a moody insomniac; and Josie—impulsive, funny, secretive Josie—was killed behind the wheel in a single-car accident. As the relationships that long defined Isabel—wife, mother, daughter, best friend—change before her eyes, Isabel must try to understand who she really is.
Teeming with longing, grief, and occasional moments of wild, unexpected joy, Days of Awe is a daring, dazzling book—a luminous exploration of marriage, motherhood, and the often surprising shape of new love.
Following the success of her first two novels (Still Life with Husband and Friends Like Us), Fox lays out a tale about a woman's attempt to piece her life together following the death of her best friend. When Josie dies unexpectedly in a car accident, her closest friend, Isabel, is left with nagging guilt, a broken marriage, a strained relationship with her preteen daughter, and the challenge of grieving and moving forward. Through painful months of doubt, anguish, and depression, Isabel reconciles herself to the truth that her actions bear no responsibility for the fatal outcome. This realization, however mollifying, comes just as Chris, her husband, moves out of their house in the Midwest into his own apartment. And to add to her misery, Isabel discovers him on a date with their marriage counselor shortly after their daughter begs to move in with him full-time. It's not until Josie's mother drags her to a support group for recent divorc es that she begins to see the possibility of love after so much loss. Filled with insecurities and anxieties, Isabel's nuanced character is relatable her struggles are universal and the reader will root for her to succeed. Raw and darkly humorous at times, Fox's novel is a winner.