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About Rebecca Kauffman
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Fripp Island, South Carolina is the perfect destination for the wealthy Daly family: Lisa, Scott, and their two girls. For Lisa’s childhood friend, Poppy Ford, the resort island is a world away from the one she and Lisa grew up in—and when Lisa invites Poppy's family to join them, how can a working-class woman turn down an all-expenses paid vacation for her husband and children?
But everyone brings secrets to the island, distorting what should be a convivial, relaxing summer on the beach. Lisa sees danger everywhere—the local handyman can't be allowed near the children, and Lisa suspects Scott is fixated on something, or someone, else. Poppy watches over her husband John and his routines with a sharp eye. It's a summer of change for all of the children: Ryan Ford who prepares for college in the fall, Rae Daly who seethes on the brink of adulthood, and the two youngest, Kimmy Daly and Alex Ford, who are exposed to new ideas and different ways of life as they forge a friendship of their own. Those who return from this vacation will spend the rest of their lives trying to process what they witnessed, the tipping points, moments of violence and tenderness, and the memory of whom they left behind.
Mikey Callahan, a thirty-year-old who is suffering from the clouded vision of macular degeneration, struggles to establish human connections—even his emotional life is a blur. As the novel begins, he is reuniting with "The Gunners," his group of childhood friends, after one of them has committed suicide. Sally had distanced herself before ending her life, and she died harboring secrets about herself and her friends. In this quietly startling, beautiful book, Mikey, Alice, Lynn, Jimmy, and Sam search for the core of truth, friendship, and forgiveness.
"Kauffman has done something remarkable with The Gunners." —The New York Times Book Review
"A moving novel . . . Like an intimate hangout session, dashed with suspense and a few extra layers of emotional beauty." —Entertainment Weekly
"A wonderful debut . . . Undeniably moving and emotionally true." —Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)
Most of us have experienced what it’s like to know what someone is going to say right before they say it. Or perhaps you have been shocked by the irrefutable phenomena of coincidence, when your life intersects with another’s in the most unlikely way. In gripping prose marked by stark simplicity, Another Place You’ve Never Been by debut novelist Rebecca Kauffman explores the intersection of human experience amidst the minutiae of everyday life.
In her mid-thirties and still living in her hometown Buffalo, NY, Tracy spends most days at the restaurant where she works as a hostess, despite her aspirations of a career that would make use of her creative talents. Tracy’s life is explored not only though her own personal point of view, but also through the viewpoints of other characters, wherein Tracy may only make a peripheral appearance or even emerge at different periods in her life.
This wonderful novel hails the emotional complexity and narrative scope of A Visit from the Goon Squad, and resonates with the strong mystical nature of Swamplandia. At its core, Another Place You've Never Been is a broad investigation of such bold ideas as the possibility that any person, at any time, in any place, could find themselves shivering in the presence of great and ancient forces; and the notion that love is perhaps "far less voluntary" than we might believe it to be.