- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
This item may be
Check for Availability
Losing charlotteby Heather Clay
Synopses & Reviews
Raised on their parents Kentucky horse farm, Charlotte and Knox Bolling grow up steeped in the cycles of breeding, foaling, weaning, and preparation for sale that the Thoroughbreds around them undergo each year. As sisters, they are as tightly connected within that vast and beautiful landscape as their opposing natures—and the subtly shifting allegiances within their close family—allow.
When Charlotte leaves Four Corners Farm, marries Bruce, and moves to Manhattans West Village, the sisters feelings for each other remain as intense and contradictory as ever, despite the distance between them. But nothing will solder their lives more fatefully than Charlottes pregnancy and the day on which she delivers twin boys, then dies of complications following their birth.
Together, Knox and Bruce—sister- and brother-in-law in name, but strangers in every other respect—take up the work of caring for Charlottes two motherless boys. In their mourning, and in the joy and desolation that flood in as their love for the children deepens, Bruce and Knox confront the ways in which their bonds to Charlotte have shaped them and struggle to define the tentative bond they are forming with each other as they navigate their exhausting, emotional daily rounds. A gripping, powerfully affecting debut novel from a stunning new writer.
"Clay's promising if uneven debut scrutinizes the complicated relationship between two very different sisters. Knox Bolling has always resented her beautiful sister, Charlotte, and blames Charlotte for her situation. She's 34, living on her parents' Kentucky horse farm and unable to commit to her boyfriend's repeated marriage proposals. Charlotte, on the other hand, has moved to New York City, where she dabbles in acting and holds a series of dead-end jobs before meeting money manager Bruce Tavert, who, after a brief courtship, proposes. Their intention to start a family, however, proves deadly for Charlotte, who dies in childbirth, leaving Bruce with premature twin boys and providing Knox with an opportunity to explore life outside of Kentucky by coming to New York to help Bruce. Things quickly get creepy as Knox tries out life as Charlotte, and the narrative takes on a stark gothic eeriness. New York is more difficult than Kentucky for Clay to nail down, and some of Knox's late-book behavior verges on Fatal Attraction — type obsession before backtracking into something just short of prudent uplift. It's a strange mix — not altogether unappealing, but not a knockout, either." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Sisters Charlotte and Knox Bolling grew up intimately connected; yet their bond frayed as one of them sought to rebel. Their fates are forever intertwined when Charlotte dies giving birth to twin boys, and Knox steps into her sister's vanished life.
What does it mean to honor the memory of someone you loved but may have never fully known? Heather Clays riveting debut novel, about the overlapping lives of two starkly different sisters, will invite comparisons to Sue Miller, Jane Hamilton, and Elizabeth Strout.
Born and raised on their parents lush Kentucky horse farm, Charlotte and Knox Bolling grew up intimately connected; yet their bond frayed as one of them sought to rebel within their close family. When Charlotte moves north to New York and marries Bruce, leaving her sister firmly rooted on home soil, the two women seem to stand on opposite sides of a geographic and ever-widening emotional divide. But their fates are forever intertwined when Charlotte dies giving birth to twin boys, and Knox steps into her sisters vanished life for an interim to help care for them. For Knox and Bruce grief is initially subsumed by exhaustion and duty as they plow through their daily rounds. The crucible of their devastating weeks together is the backdrop against which these survivors, all but strangers to each other, will be tested in unforeseen ways and grapple with a deeper understanding of the woman they both loved.
Lyrical, haunting, and psychologically acute, Losing Charlotte marks the emergence of an electrifying new storyteller.
About the Author
Heather Clay is a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia Universitys School of the Arts. She has published short fiction in The New Yorker and written for Parenting. She lives in New York City with her husband and their two daughters. This is her first novel.
What Our Readers Are Saying