Tracing the complicated friendship of two very different women who meet in college, She Poured Out Her Heart is a novel of remarkable psychological suspense, crafted by National Book Award finalist Jean Thompson.
The night that Jane and Bonnie meet on a college campus sets them on paths forever entwined. Bonnie, the wild and experimental one, always up for anything, has spent the past two decades bouncing between ill-fated relationships, while Jane’s seemingly perfect life, perfect husband, and perfect children have all but materialized out of a fantasy. But these appearances contradict the quiet, inescapable doubt Jane feels about her life. One night, in the middle of her own Christmas party, she steps outside into the snow, removes her clothing and shoes, and lies down in the backyard. When she is discovered, nothing is the same for anyone. As Jane begins to have visions and retreat into a private inner world, Bonnie finds herself drawn inevitably into an affair with Jane’s husband.
Thompson’s mastery of complex emotion begets a novel of desire and the nature of love—who we love, how we’re loved, and, most important, that we reach urgently and always for a higher love, regardless of our circumstances. She Poured Out Her Heart is a finely wrought, haunting story of female friendship and deception, and the distance in between.
About the Author
Jean Thompson is the author of six novels, among them The Humanity Project and The Year We Left Home, and six story collections, including Who Do You Love (a National Book Award finalist) and, most recently, The Witch. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.
“Unexpected and gripping…written with Thompson’s typical verve and gusto…Thompson is wonderfully adept at evoking the self-deluding way men and women think about themselves and one another.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“In her latest novel, She Poured Out Her Heart, Thompson is at her prescient, brilliant best. She has crafted a tale about a highly recognizable Now that also functions as a scarily plausible vision of Later—of what’s coming down the road for her characters, and perhaps for the culture, too. Only a few novelists can pull off this dual mission. Margaret Atwood comes to mind. Don DeLillo, too….a tense, artful, rich and involving novel that strips the world down to its bones and also makes you care deeply for the two women whose lives it lays bare.”
—Julia Keller, The National Book Review
“A nuanced study of marriage and friendship, fidelity and deceit, and our lonesome search for meaningful connection. She Poured Out Her Heart…explores the ambiguity of what might otherwise be considered a morally bankrupt situation. Thompson is less concerned with what's right or wrong, and more vested in exploring how hard it can be to say no, how vulnerable we are to our own weaknesses, the enduring value of friendship, and the ways in which our mistakes can also offer opportunities for personal growth and redemption.”
—The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“With piercing empathy and incandescent humor, Thompson considers the riddles of sexual passion and love, self and change, loyalty and forgiveness, forging an engrossing novel of crackling insights and ambushing drama.”