I though you said this would work - cover

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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.


“No one captures the human condition in all its complexity, humor, and magnificence quite like Ann Garvin. I THOUGHT YOU SAID THIS WOULD WORK is a relatable story about the complexity of female friendship, its evolution through the years and the people who are always there no matter what. In the pages of her approachable and inspirational new novel, Garvin is at the height of her distinctive, transportive storytelling powers. You will laugh, cry and find yourself rushing back to the page whenever you have to walk away.”— Kristy Woodson Harvey, USA TODAY Bestselling Author of FEELS LIKE FALLING.

“Road trip! Three women embark on a breakneck, cross country adventure in this wholly original story of friendship and old misunderstandings, love and devastating loss. Filled with Garvin’s signature humor and heart, this book takes the reader on a wild ride with rescued pets, romantic possibilities, and one highly-charged secret.”— Amy Poeppel, Author of SMALL ADMISSIONS

I Thought You Said This Would Work is a heart-breaking and hilarious story of how we rescue each other. It’s a great, big, generous, warm-hearted page-turner about best friends and love and loss and forgiveness and dogs, told with absolute honesty and humor. You couldn’t ask for more from a novel.”– Lauren Fox, Author of SEND FOR ME

“Nobody captures the nuances of friendship like Ann Garvin. I Thought You Said This Would Work features incredibly relatable characters who rely on old friends to help them muddle through the challenges of midlife with humor and grace. Despite long-held grudges and jealousy, this is a tale of sacrifice and devotion (and dogs!), and the importance of feeling truly known.”— ​Christina Clancy, Author of SHOULDER SEASON

“Anyone who has ever known the healing power of love—from friends both two-footed and four—will fall hard for Garvin’s latest book. Like the road trip at the heart of its story, I Thought You Said This Would Work surprises at thrills at every turn.”– Gretchen Anthony, Author of THE KIDS ARE GONNA ASK.

“Ann Garvin knows how to find the ooey-gooey center of your emotions to make you laugh, cry, and hoot in appreciation. I THOUGHT YOU SAID THIS WOULD WORK celebrates female friendship in all its complicated glory. Read immediately, curled up with a furry friend and hot cup of coffee.”—Amy E. Reichert, author of THE KINDRED SPIRITS SUPPER CLUB

“Laughter, tears, and an unforgettable cast of characters: I Thought You Said This Would Work has everything I love, so it’s no surprise that I adored this novel. Ann Garvin’s latest, about three unlikely allies on the road trip to end all road trips, is the sort of life-affirming story we all need right now. I can’t recommend it highly enough.” —Camille Pagán, bestselling author of THIS WON’T END WELL.

 “Equal parts hilarious and heartfelt, I THOUGHT YOU SAID THIS WOULD WORK kept me reaching for tissues—from laughing so hard. This book is a pure delight.”—Colleen Oakley, USA Today bestselling author of YOU WERE THERE TOO

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!” —Karen Karbo Bestselling Author of YEAH NO NOT HAPPENING.

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.”
Michelle Wildgen

Author of You’re Not You and Bread and Butter

 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.”
Jacquelyn Mitchard

New York Times Best Selling author of The Deep End of The Ocean.

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.”
Luanne Rice

New York Times bestselling author The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners