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Amanda is a new mother, and she is breaking. After a fight with her partner, she puts the baby in the car and drives from Queens to her hometown in rural Ohio, where she shows up unannounced on the
doorstep of her estranged childhood best friend. Amanda thought that she had left Carrie firmly in the past. After their friendship ended, their lives diverged radically: Carrie had a baby the
summer after high school, became a successful tattoo artist, and never escaped Ohio’s conservative grid of close-cut grass. But the trauma of childbirth and shock of motherhood compel Amanda to go
back to the beginning and to trace the tangled roots of friendship and family in her own life.
Compelling and engaging, Everything Here Is under Control is a raw, honest, occasionally hilarious portrait of the complexity, conflicting emotions, and physical trauma of both modern
motherhood and the intense, intimate friendships that women forge in their youth.
“The women fall into steady, if wary, rhythm with each other, their reunion setting the stage for the unfurling of a long-kept secret that’s made all the more dramatic by the intense and often thrilling complexity of this relationship…Filled with compelling characters…Full of texture and authentic human ambivalence.” —New York Times Book Review
“There is so much to examine here, from the harrowing experience of new motherhood to the role of a father in an infant’s first days. Amanda’s complex relationship with Deerling, which includes her own mother, is worth noting, too, and a twist midway through the book adds great intensity to the story. But the heart of the novel is Carrie and Amanda’s friendship, with all its sorrow and joy. A perfect selection for book groups.” —Booklist (starred review)
“[A] wonderful new novel…[A] precise, poignant, and thrilling story of friendship, motherhood, and the one-way road to adulthood…It’s Amanda’s emotional journey, urgent and searching, that drives the book, moving it with the pulse and pace of a thriller.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“A tender novel about early motherhood, small-town life, and the various ways people make their families.” —The Millions
“I quite liked this novel of a friendship and how it endured a pregnancy and a shared love and the past.” —Roxane Gay
“A delight to read. The author seems to really understand the true sense of what it is like to be a new mother, with all the self-doubt, worry, and pure love that come along with that role…The book is easy to read, because you want to know and understand the characters better. In the end, you do understand them, and maybe understand yourself a bit better as well.” —Manhattan Book Review
“Adrian’s meticulous, wry adult debut follows thirty-one-year-old new mother Amanda through her insecurities and anxieties…Adrian’s portrayal of the ups and downs of motherhood will resonate with readers.” —Publishers Weekly
“Quirky, resonant…With keen wit and affecting emotion, Everything Here Is under Control is a novel about love, family, and motherhood that balances compromises with possibilities.” —Foreword Reviews
“Brutally tender, ferociously intimate, astonishingly surefooted, and deeply satisfying. Emily Adrian has crafted a multilayered story whose people—I hesitate to call them mere ‘characters’—became so real and vivid to me that I’ve thought about them long since finishing the book. An immersive, irresistible pleasure.” —Chelsey Johnson, author of Stray City
“How Emily Adrian could write a book so honest and raw about the first weeks of motherhood and yet so appealing and unputdownable and—dare I say, heartwarming—is a mystery of novelistic alchemy. Nonetheless, there it levitates: light as a feather and heavy as a stone, a romantic comedy that redefines the terms of traditional romance and takes happily ever after far beyond the loss of maidenhood. Magic, addictive, brilliant fun.” —Rufi Thorpe, author of The Knockout Queen
“A sharp, thoughtful, poignant look at early motherhood, a small town, and the complex, challenging, and beautiful relationships that make up our families both biological and chosen.” —Lydia Kiesling, author of The Golden State
“Emily Adrian is such a uniquely perceptive writer, possessing a kind of X-ray vision that finds the hidden truths inside of us, no matter how painful they might be. Everything Here Is under Control skillfully lays out a story that converges on motherhood, friendship, and our responsibilities to the world around us, the lives that touch us. A beautiful, bracing novel by an amazing, open-hearted writer.” —Kevin Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing to See Here
“Warm, compassionate, funny, and filled with surprises, Everything Here Is under Control is an accomplished novel by a writer to watch.” —Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening and Florence Gordon
“I tore through Everything Here Is under Control in just a couple of days, compelled by its refreshingly honest portrayals of not only early motherhood but the kind of childhood friendship that shapes the rest of your life. Emily Adrian writes with such a keen and sensitive eye, and she’s funny, and she is an astute observer of human behavior. I cheered when I got to the plot twist midway through, and, even now, I can’t get this novel’s characters out of my mind.” —Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author of California
“Emily Adrian writes with deft assurance and penetrating insight about the intensities of motherhood, marriage, and female friendship.” —Heather Harpham, author of Happiness: The Crooked Little Road to Semi–Ever After
“I could not put down this brilliant, beautiful book. It’s about the elastic, resilient love of our earliest friendships. It’s about the challenges of motherhood at any age. It’s about how the lands of our childhood define and complicate us—and how we can never leave them completely. Everything Here Is under Control is everything I want a novel to be: suspenseful, emotional, intellectual, and populated with characters so true and dimensional that their shocks and pains and happiness merge into my own. Emily Adrian is a force. Now, go read her book.” —Jeannie Vanasco, author of Things We Didn’t Talk about When I Was a Girl
Emily Adrian is the author of two critically acclaimed young adult novels, Like It Never Happened and The Foreseeable Future, and two adult novels, Everything
Here Is under Control and The Second Season. She lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband, her son, and their dog, Hank.
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