I Thought You Said This Would Work
Widowed Samantha Arias hasn’t spoken to Holly Dunfee in forever. It’s for the best. Samantha prefers to avoid conflict. The blisteringly honest Holly craves it. What they still have in common puts them both back on speed dial: a mutual love for Katie, their best friend of twenty-five years, now hospitalized with cancer and needing one little errand from her old college roomies.
It’s simple: travel cross-country together, steal her loathsome ex-husband’s VW camper, find Katie’s diabetic Great Pyrenees at a Utah rescue, and drive him back home to Wisconsin. If it’ll make Katie happy, no favor is too big (one hundred pounds), too daunting (two thousand miles), or too illegal (ish), even when a boho D-list celebrity hitches a ride and drives the road trip in fresh directions.
Samantha and Holly are following every new turn—toward second chances, unexpected romance, and self-discovery—and finally blowing the dust off the secret that broke their friendship. On the open road, they’ll try to put it back together—for themselves, and especially for the love of Katie.
Ann Garvin navigates the twists and turns of female friendship like few writers working today. I Thought You Said This Would Work is at once profound, hilarious, and ridiculously entertaining. Her best novel yet, I didn’t want it to end!”
I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around
Tig Monahan, radio therapist, finds out the hard way that nothing is fair in love and war….or family.
Everything is falling apart in psychologist, Tig Monahan’s life. Her mother’s dementia is wearing her out, her boyfriend takes off for Hawaii without her, and her sister inexplicably disappears leaving her newborn behind.
When a therapy session goes horribly wrong, Tig finds herself unemployed and part of the sandwich generation trying to take care of everyone and failing miserably. Just when she thinks she can redefine herself on the radio, as an arbiter of fairness, she discovers a family secret that nobody saw coming.
It will take everything plus a sense of humor to see her way clear to a better life, but none of that will happen if she can’t let go of her past.
“It’s not enough that Ann Garvin is hilarious. Then she has to go ahead and be compassionate and wise about the hopeful car-wreck that is most of humanity. In I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around, Garvin builds an unorthodox family that’s both tight knit and forever at odds, and not one of those family members feels any less than rich, real, and complex–just what a novel needs.”
The Dog Year
Dr. Lucy Peterman was not built for a messy life. A well-respected surgeon whose patients rely on her warmth, compassion and fierce support, Lucy has always worked hard and trusted in the system. She’s not the sort of person who ends up in a Twelve-Step program after being caught stealing supplies from her hospital. But that was Lucy before the accident — before her husband and unborn baby were ripped away from her in an instant, before her future felt like a broken promise. Caught red-handed in a senseless act that kept her demons at bay, she’s faced with a choice: get some help, or lose her medical license. Now, she’s reluctantly sharing her deepest fears with a bunch of strangers, avoiding her loneliness by befriending a troubled girl, pinning her hopes on her husband’s last gift, and getting involved with a rugged cop from her past. It’s only when she is adopted by a stray mutt and moves her group to the dog park that she begins to truly bond with the rag-tag dog-loving addicts—and discovers that a chaotic, unplanned life might be the sweetest of all…
“Reminiscent of the best of Gail Parent and Alison Lurie, The Dog Year is the story of a woman who had everything, lost everything, and now wants to shoplift the rest, including the hope of life after the death of her heart, lost when her husband and child died in a dreadful accident. Ann Garvin’s writing sneaks up on you: it is hilarious, until it’s poignant, until it’s heartbreaking. She leave no heartstring untugged, no funny bone untapped, and every word she sets down is honest.”
On Maggie’s Watch
Maggie Finley has just returned to her beloved Wisconsin hometown, quirky best friend, and eccentric mother. Life should be good, but her marriage to Martin is suffering under the strain of a recent family
tragedy and Maggie’s feeling pressed for time. Before the birth of her baby she has to figure out how to fit her high-anxiety-self into a low-anxiety-life.
True to her can do attitude, Maggie hires a compelling handy-man, resurrects a defunct Neighborhood Watch and inadvertently discovers a potential threat to her house and home living just around the corner. Choosing to investigate, despite her best friend’s advice to keep her nose out of it…and despite the risk, Maggie sets her sites on discovering the stranger’s secret. As the mystery of the neighbor’s identity draws Maggie irresistibly in, her ordered life starts to unravel in surprising and hilarious ways.
Unexpectedly compelling and sparkling with wit and intelligence, this debut novel chronicles one woman’s quest for control over her surroundings, and the secrets and surprises that lie hidden in an ordinary suburban landscape.
“On Maggie’s Watch shows how we thrive, how we go on, in a life that’s neither perfect nor fair. Ann Wertz Garvin writes with humor and compassion so well; just when I’d feel about to cry the scene would twist and I’d laugh out loud. She has such deep understanding for her flawed and trying-to-get better characters; she obviously loves them, and so do we.”