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You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac
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You Me Everything

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You Me Everything by Catherine Isaac
Paperback $16.00
Jun 25, 2019 | ISBN 9780735224551

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    Jun 25, 2019 | ISBN 9780735224551

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  • May 01, 2018 | ISBN 9780735224544

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  • May 01, 2018 | ISBN 9780525530138

    575 Minutes

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Praise for You Me Everything:

“This novel is a delight.”—goop

“Lush, romantic, and sweep-you-off-your-feet beautiful. Just looking at it makes you want to take a trip, doesn’t it?”—Bustle

“Equal parts wry comedy and touching family drama, it’s ultimately a heartbreaker that’ll stay with you long after you’re done.” —Marie Claire

“Hoping her ex will bond with their son, a 10-year-old he’s rarely seen, Jess arranges a vacation a deux at the ex’s hotel in the French countryside. If you’re not hooked already, you will be.” People

“For fans of About a Boy or books set in the French countryside (isn’t that all of us?), this novel is a sure bet.” —Brightly

“Heart-wrenching and romantic. . . draws comparisons to Lisa Genova’s Inside the O’Briens. . . a solid choice for book groups that appreciate stories of everyday people with ordinary failings who overcome adversity.” —Library Journal

“A moving and surprising novel about love and parenthood, anxiety and hope. Readers who loved Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You will be swept up by Jess and Adam’s story.” —Booklist

“A witty, light romance from a welcome new voice.” —Kirkus Reviews

“A lovely getaway that truly touches the heart.” –Family Circle

“Glass of chilled rosé, check. Comfy chair, check. Box of tissues, check. You Me Everything is everything you need for a moving, funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately joyous read. Set in one of the world’s most magical places, it’s a story that celebrates the power of love to overcome any fear. You’ll savor this one like an aperitif of socca and wine.”  –Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Map of the Heart

“What would you do for the child you love? You Me Everything takes a raw and honest look at one mother’s struggle to forge the best future for her son. A fractured family and a summer in the beautiful French countryside come alive in Catherine Isaac’s capable hands.” –Lisa Wingate, New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

“Wow. Just Wow. If you liked Me Before You, you’ll love You Me Everything. Heartbreakingly beautiful.”–Clare Mackintosh, New York Times bestselling author of I Let You Go

 “Heartwarming, thoughtful and very special.” –Jenny Colgan, New York Times bestselling author of The Endless Beach
“A shimmering setting, a rekindled love and a looming tragedy. You Me Everything is the very definition of ‘bittersweet.’” –Louise Candlish, author of Our House

Author Q&A

A Conversation with Catherine Isaac

What inspired you to write You Me Everything? What is the heart of the story to you?
I was inspired to write the novel after someone I know discovered that one of his parents had a genetic disease, similar to that depicted in You Me Everything. I was immediately struck by the far-reaching ramifications of this condition, how it affected entire families and not just individuals. But I also wanted to explore how some people are dealt a terrible hand in life, but somehow manage to rise above it and live rich, fulfilled lives. There are some big themes in the book, but at the heart of it is a love story in its widest definition; a story that explores love between a mother and her daughter, a father and his son and, ultimately, a man and a woman.

Jess, your main character, had to make a very tough decision: Do you want to know what’s in your future—with all the consequences and without being able to change it? Or do you prefer to live with the unknown, but also with hope. Was it clear to you from the beginning what Jess’s decision would be?
I knew Jess would make the decision she does, simply because I’m certain that’s what I would do in her position. Once I’d determined that, it made it easier to slip into her mindset, and the kind of emotions she’d encounter every step of the way. Having said that, the first draft of the novel ended totally differently. This was one of those stories that really could have unfolded in any number of directions.

Jess makes her decision—and she has to live with it. That is not always easy for her. She struggles. But besides being very emotional, your novel is also full of optimism. Was it important to you to have a hopeful message in the end?
Very much so. I think of all the characters I’ve ever written, Jess deserved some happiness—as difficult as it was to envisage how I could create that. That said, I didn’t want this book to have a neat, unrealistically “happy” ending, where everything is conveniently tied up in the final chapters. That wouldn’t have been true to life and certainly wouldn’t have been true to the experience families who go through what Jess’s do. But, it was unquestionably important to me to have some light and shade. I think of it as a laugh-and-cry kind of novel—those who’ve read it certainly tell me they’ve done both.

There are so many great—very funny—scenes with William, Jess’s ten-year-old son. You have three sons of your own. How much of them is in William? Are any of them equally interested in diphtheria in the Victorian age?
Ha, ha! Well, I started writing the book when my son Otis was ten—the same age as William—so I can’t deny that I took a little inspiration from him (though he wants me to make it absolutely clear that he is FAR better at football than William is!). Creating a character like William was a first for me—having a child who is very much a central character with a very big personality. I had such fun with him and all the kids in the book, actually. The dialogue in particular was a real treat to write.

The relationship between William and his father isn’t easy. And Jess is torn between her own history with her ex—Adam—and her wish to let her son believe that his father is a flawless hero. I think that is something a lot of single parents can relate to. Was it important to you to describe the situation of a single parent as realistic as possible and not in stereotypes?
Absolutely. Although I’ve now remarried, I was a single parent myself for several years when my two eldest boys were young, so I know exactly what Jess goes through in the early days of the breakup. I think a lot of us do what she does, in an attempt to do our best for our children. We keep our resentment hidden, grit our teeth and smile—because we’re worried that letting the children believe that their father is anything less than they think he is would only hurt them. But it isn’t easy though sometimes, as Jess discovers!

The relationship between Jess and her ex is very complex. In the beginning she is very hurt—and it is hard for her to trust him, especially when it comes to her son. But they still have a lot of shared history—and chemistry. What interested you about this couple and their dynamic?
I really loved writing about the two of them. Their chemistry is so powerful right from the moment when they first meet on a smoky dance floor in the dying hours of a winter night. But then, it was fascinating to depict that same couple ten years after that relationship has very much ended—and ended badly. I loved writing their dialogue, creating tension between them but also, undeniably, the glimmers of connection that were once there. Plus—without giving too much away—I liked the idea of creating some secrets between them that are only revealed later on in the book.

One of the conclusions of the novel is that it’s good to have as many people around you as possible whom you love and care for. Jess has her two best friends with her in France. How important is friendship in your own life?
Hugely. I love my friends, as much for all the tough times they’ve been there (and they really have), as for the times we’ve spent laughing over a glass of wine. Being an author can be quite a solitary profession, so making time to see my friends is something that’s extremely important to me. It keeps me sane!

You describe rural France vividly. Have you ever lived in France? What made you choose the Dordogne as the setting of your novel?
I’ve never lived in France, but most of my childhood holidays were there, so it is a really special place to me. I have such vivid and happy memories of piling into our car and taking the ferry to the north coast of France, where we’d then trundle on for what felt like days. And when we arrived—usually at a campsite—we’d spend a blissful couple of weeks in the sunshine, eating divine food and staying up late to play cards with my parents. The Dordogne was one of my favorite places and I’ve been there both as a child and an adult with my own children. So it was a real joy to write about the beauty of its landscape, the sounds and heavenly smells.

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