Days of Awe (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Isabel Moore seems to have it all – a happy marriage, a loving daughter, and a close friendship with Josie, a fellow teacher. Things certainly can change on a dime. As Lauren Fox’s latest novel opens, Isabel’s husband has moved out, her daughter is barely speaking to her, and her best friend is dead, disastrously killed in an automobile accident. Days of Awe is an attempt to make sense of tragedy and loss, while still finding humor and grace in everyday life. A reminder to appreciate what you have, and how quickly you can lose it. 

— Sharon K. Nagel

So your best friend dies in a car accident and your marriages status is a bit creaky and your daughter is hitting adolescence and is ganging up against you with your own mother. Oh, and you work at a school where your friend worked too, meaning you think about her all the time, and there’s a teacher you don’t particularly like, and wouldn’t you know it if…well, you get the picture. Lauren Fox captures that moment in life when the world seems like it’s falling apart, and to be fair, it sort of is. Isabel Moore is a distinctively Lauren Fox heroine, observant and funny and painfully self-conscious, and Days of Awe might be her best book yet, all the better for striking some raw nerves is it mines for the truth mother lode

— Daniel Goldin


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 best friend, Josie. But in one short year Isabel’s husband moved out; her daughter grew into a moody insomniac; and Josie—impulsive, funny, secretive Josie—was killed behind the wheel in a single-car accident that’s left a mess of unanswered questions in its wake.

Suddenly, the relationships that have always defined Isabel—wife, mother, best friend—are changing before her eyes. As Isabel struggles to understand who she really is, Lauren Fox brings us a daring book that explores marriage, motherhood, and the often surprising shape of new love.

About the Author

LAUREN FOX is the author of the novels Still Life with Husband and Friends Like Us. She earned her MFA from the University of Minnesota, and her work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Parenting, Psychology Today, The Rumpus, and Salon. She lives in Milwaukee with her husband and two daughters.

Praise For…

“Funny, mordant, and heartbreaking, Days of Awe is a marvel.” —Christina Baker Kline, bestselling author of Orphan Train

“Darkly hilarious. . . . There are veins of Anne Lamott running through these pages, a sweet blend of sentimentality and wit.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post
 “As Fox deconstructs the myth of perfect womanhood, her humor and humanity remind us that love’s the only lifeboat through grief.” —People, “Book of the Week”
“Fox paints touching portraits of the bonds between mothers and daughters. . . . Careful and nuanced.” —Patricia Park, The New York Times Book Review
“[Has] the same sly humor and snappy dialogue that has made Fox one of my favorite novelists to recommend.” —Meganne Fabrega, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

“The fearlessness with which Fox frees her women to behave badly heightens both the credibility and the pleasure of her fiction.” —The Boston Globe
“No contemporary novelist makes me stop as often to mark or admire one of her sentences. . . . Were Days of Awe the pilot script for a TV series, elderly actresses would throw elbows to audition for Helene. . . . Poignant.” —Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 
Days of Awe is clever, funny, and emotional, the kind of book another writer reads jealously, wishing to have written it. Honest and accurate about female friendship, this is my favorite Lauren Fox book yet.” —Jennifer Close, bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses and The Smart One

“What makes the book so special is Isabel’s smart, acerbic voice and her way of seeing everything from a sharp angle. . . . . Isabel (and Fox) has such an offbeat way of looking at things that you’ll eagerly keep reading just to see what she's going to say next. Read it for the magnetic voice and Fox’s ever interesting perspective on work, love, friendship, and parenthood.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 
“[Fox’s] characters are undeniably human. Isabel is messy and imperfect, frustrating yet likable.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Beautiful, heartfelt.” —Bookreporter 

“Raw and darkly humorous . . . Fox’s novel is a winner.” —Publishers Weekly

“An insightful novel . . . that explores how grief can make every arena of life feel suddenly disorienting. . . .  Frank, thought-provoking. . . . Fox once again explores, with a smart and refreshing perspective, the underside of friendships, marriage, love and loss—and the range of emotions that can plague and liberate the human heart.” —Shelf Awareness
“Fox delivers a story about all the things that keep us awake at night: marriage, parenthood, friendship, bereavement, workplace rivalries, aging parents, cultural identity, starting over. And yet with all it encompasses, this book never falters once. The pace is brisk, the suspense high, the heartache intense and the ending so authentic you’ll want to turn back to page one and start all over, just so you can experience it again. Kind of like real life.” —The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Product Details
ISBN: 9780307388278
ISBN-10: 0307388271
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
Pages: 272
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries