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Kate Hope Day
In If, Then, the residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines family-driven suspense with inventive storytelling. The novel is set in the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, where four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities: Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family; Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist; Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease; and Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood. At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same. Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies — the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.
J. Courtney Sullivan calls it “a gorgeous literary novel that asks us to imagine all the possible versions of ourselves that might exist,” and Eowyn Ivey calls it “a mind-bending reflection on the nature of free choice and time….a fascinating and moving debut novel.”
Day holds a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. She was an associate producer at HBO. She lives in Oregon with her husband and their two children.