In popular librarian-turned-book-evangelist Nancy Pearl’s quirky and charming first novel, a couple meet cute at an Ann Arbor bowling alley, but could they be any more different? While both Jewish, George is a sweet but nondescript dental student from Tulsa who celebrates Christmas, while Lizzie is a local undergrad with an upbringing swiped clean of spirituality, and carrying a lot of baggage to boot. Could the daughter of two painfully cold behavioral psychologists be anything less? While her senior year incident (which involves the football team, not exactly what you think) would seem to be the true stumbling block to happiness, a rebound relationship causes as many problems. Pearl’s narrative swirls around in time and place, descending on many of the important folks in George and Lizzie’s life, with just about every side character fleshed out. And as for setting, any current or former A2 resident will enjoy the vibrant placeyness of the story. (Yes, Shaman Drum gets its moment.) It’s hard not to root for Lizzie, a hero in the vein of Laurie Colwin or more recently, Elizabeth McKenzie’s The Portable Veblen, living proof that you can overcome the burdens of your past, especially if you remember the mantra that nobody cares what happened to you in high school.— Daniel Goldin
Presenting a special evening with "America's Librarian" Nancy Pearl, in conversation with beloved Wisconsin Public Radio host Kathleen Dunn. If you enjoy Kathleen Dunns book shows with Nancy Pearl, youre going to love Nancy Pearl and Kathleen Dunn live at Boswell. Tickets are $29, and include admission and a copy of Nancy Pearls new novel, "George & Lizzie." $5 of each ticket will be donated back to Wisconsin Public Radio. Purchase at nancypearlmke.brownpapertickets.com or call (800) 838-3006. Please note that you must purchase a ticket to attend this event; purchasing a book here or elsewhere will not get you admission.— Boswell Book Company
September 2017 Indie Next List
“I don't know Nancy Pearl, but I imagine the beloved librarian turned national book commentator would be too modest to recommend her debut for your reading list, so I'll do it for her. Pearl has written an intelligent, character-driven page-turner that asks important questions about honesty and forgiveness and examines how conscious choices and behaviors strengthen us and our relationships. Raised by brilliant but emotionally detached psychologist parents, Lizzie faces ongoing and often humorous internal battles that ultimately lead to a crossroads in her marriage to George. You may examine your own relationships as you read this witty, kindhearted story. Pearl clearly seems to love the characters she has created. You'll fall for them, too.”
— Mary Vermillion (W), Village Books, Bellingham, WA
" A]n homage to true love, painful childhood experiences, and emotional scars that last a lifetime. It's a story of forgiveness, especially for one's self....Extraordinary." --The Washington Post From "America's librarian" and NPR books commentator Nancy Pearl comes an emotionally riveting debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads. George and Lizzie have radically different understandings of what love and marriage should be. George grew up in a warm and loving family--his father an orthodontist, his mother a stay-at-home mom--while Lizzie grew up as the only child of two famous psychologists, who viewed her more as an in-house experiment than a child to love. Over the course of their marriage, nothing has changed--George is happy; Lizzie remains...unfulfilled. When a shameful secret from Lizzie's past resurfaces, she'll need to face her fears in order to accept the true nature of the relationship she and George have built over a decade together. With pitch-perfect prose and compassion and humor to spare, George and Lizzie is an intimate story of new and past loves, the scars of childhood, and an imperfect marriage at its defining moments.