The critically acclaimed author of Good-bye and Amen, Leeway Cottage, and More Than You Know returns with a sharply perceptive and emotionally resonant novel about all the ways we talk about one another, the sometimes fine line between showing concern and doing damage, and the difficulty of knowing the true obligations of friendship
"Did you know that the origin of the word gossip in English is 'god-sibling'? It's the talk between people who are godparents to the same child, people who have a legitimate loving interest in the person they talk about. It's talk that weaves a net of support and connection beneath the people you want to protect."
Loviah "Lovie" French owns a small, high-end dress shop on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Renowned for her taste and discretion, Lovie is the one to whom certain women turn when they need "just the thing" for major life eventsbaptisms and balls, weddings and funeralsor when they just want to dish in the dressing room. Among the people who depend on Lovie's confidence are her two best friends since boarding school: Dinah Wainwright and Avis Metcalf.
Outspoken and brimming with confidence, Dinah made a name for herself as a columnist covering the doings of New York's wealthiest and most fabulous. Shy, proper Avis, in many ways Dinah's opposite, rose to prominence in the art world with her quiet manners, hard work, and precise judgment. Despite the deep affection they both feel for Lovie, they have been more or less allergic to each other since a minor incident decades earlier that has been remembered and resented with what will prove to be unimaginable consequences.
These uneasy acquaintances become unwillingly bound to each other when Dinah's favorite son and Avis's only daughter fall in love and marry. On the surface, Nick and Grace are the perfect matcha playful, romantic, buoyant, and beautiful pair. But their commitment will be strained by time and change: career setbacks, reckless choices, the birth of a child, jealousies, and rumor. At the center of their orbit is Lovie, who knows everyone's secrets and manages them as wisely as she can. Which is not wisely enough, as things turn outa fact that will have a shattering effect on all their lives.
An astute chronicler of everything that makes us human, Beth Gutcheon delivers her most powerful and emotionally devastating novel to date. Gossip is a tale of intimacy and betrayal, trust and fidelity, friendship, competition, and motherhood that explores the myriad ways we use and abuse "information" about othersbe it true, false, or imaginedto sustain, and occasionally destroy, one another.
About the Author
Beth Gutcheon is the critically acclaimed author of eight previous novels: The New Girls, Still Missing, Domestic Pleasures, Saying Grace, Five Fortunes, More Than You Know, Leeway Cottage, and Good-bye and Amen. She is the writer of several film scripts, including the Academy Award nominee The Children of Theatre Street. She lives in New York City.
“[E]nthralling . . . triumphant and true.”
“[C]ompellingly drawn…A true New England novel, charming but a bit chilly.”
-Kirkus Reviews on GOOD-BYE AND AMEN
“[C]ompelling…Beautifully written and told from varying points of view, this sweeping saga will strike a chord with anyone who loves to read about family. Four stars.”
-Romantic Times on GOOD-BYE AND AMEN
“A great drama, cinematically told . . . [Gutcheon] writes elegantly about the complex bonds of family.”
“A remarkably rich and emotionally jarring novel filled ultimately with hope.”
-Denver Post on GOOD-BYE AND AMEN
“Good-Bye and Amen is a tour de force of structure and voice. Gutcheon had me at the first sentence and I didn’t put the book down until I had finished it. Marvelous and memorable.”
-Karen Joy Fowler, author of Wit’s End and The Jane Austen Book Club
“The book reads seamlessly…Gutcheon is a novelist with a poetic grasp of the language and a keen eye for the quirks and foibles that make us human. ”
-San Antonio Express-News on GOOD-BYE AND AMEN
“A good old–fashioned, all–encompassing read, with tears and smiles guaranteed.”
“Beth Gutcheon has something real to say . . . There is a world of entertainment in Domestic Pleasures.”
-—The New York Times Book Review
“An endearing urban fairytale filled with surprises.”
-San Francisco Chronicle
“The charms of Domestic Pleasures--its wit, its sharp dialogue, its perfectly tuned characters--tackle you early on and keep you pinned, turning pages, through the last, wonderfully satisfying scene.”
“She has absolutely perfect pitch when it comes to capturing the lives of these remarkable women. This seems to be the quintessential American woman’s tale. I loved it.”
-Anne Rivers Siddons
“Lively and engaging...Ms. Gutcheon knows her craft.”
-New York Times Book Review
“The importance of connections between women is highlighted in this story of friendship and support among a group of five women.”
“An unpretentious tale of freindship among the well-heeled that is both a page-turner and day-brightener.”
“The dialogue is convincing and well-paced. The suspense is strung out for maximum effect. The images are vivid and uncluttered This [is] a book that is tough to put down.”
“The taut facility with which Gutcheon twines the two stories creates real suspense While Gutcheon cannily evokes the ephemerality of passion, she also evinces, with stark and elemental resonance, the way love and hatred shape lives.”
-The New York Times Book Review
“A graceful and elegant novel that explores the unintended damage simmering hostility and sharing confidences can bring, Gossip builds to a stunning and devastating finish.”
-Booklist on GOSSIP
“This compelling story is full of emotions—heartache, love, frustrations, and even a generous dose of humor. But it is the compelling sense of friendship and loyatly between the characters that is the star attraction of this book, and Gutcheon proves her mastery as a consummate storyteller with the spellbinding novel.”
-Ventura County Star on GOSSIP
“GOSSIP is compelling story full of many emotions, heartache, love, frustrations, and even a generous dose of humor.…Gutcheon proves her mastery as a consummate storyteller with this spellbinding novel.”
-Fresh Fiction on GOSSIP