Book summary: Chairs in the Rafters

2013 BY JULIA GLASS

In a seaside Jersey town, a risk-averse illustrator on the brink of leaving her husband for another man spends one “perfect night with perfect people.” Warm, witty, and bursting with life, the friends of the man for whom she may or may not be leaving her husband thrill something deep inside her – and leave her grasping for a future she will chase down for years to come.

Already considered a master of the novel, National Book Award Winner Julia Glass, author of the bestselling Three Junes and The Widower’s Tale , proves here that she is just as adept at the long short story, offering up a rich tale of love, friendship, and the shockingly irrational choices that often lie behind our most monumental decisions.

Glass’s signature eye for detail and perfectly paced psychological simmer are on full display, but “Chairs in the Rafters” explores utterly new terrain, beautifully demonstrating how our misconceptions about other peoples' lives (inner and outer) can fuel our own life choices. This is literary fiction at its best – the sort of story that forces you to look at your own twisting path with new eyes.

For those who have not yet had the pleasure to sink into a Julia Glass novel, it’s a perfect introduction. And for ardent fans, an excellent way to tide over until the much-anticipated release of her latest book, And the Dark Sacred Night, in April.

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