Catherine Shook

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If We're Being Honest

book | Fiction | Jul 2023
US & Canada → Celadon Books (Ed. Randi Kramer)

When Gerry, the beloved Williams patriarch, dies suddenly, his grandchildren flock from across the country to the family home in Lily, Georgia. Together for the first time as adults in the place where they spent summers growing up, the cousins cope with their fresh grief and various private dramas. Their eccentric parents are in tow, too, and equally lost — in love and in life. Watching over them all is Ellen, Gerry’s sweet and proper widow, who does her best to keep her composure in front of the leering small town.

But when Gerry’s best friend steps up to the microphone to deliver his eulogy, the funeral turns out unlike anyone expected. Over the next sweltering summer week, with outside life on pause, the Williams family comes together to contend with a dramatic rewriting of their family history, and ultimately how they perceive their own lives, each other, and where they will go from here.

Clever and completely original, If We're Being Honest pays homage to the great elevated romantic comedies like Four Weddings and a Funeral and breathes new life into the familiar elements of the family novel. Shook deftly shifts focus between a large cast of characters — who are relatable, yet sharply observed — making us laugh, tugging at our heartstrings, and showcasing the signature wit, humor, and surprising depth of a daring new voice in fiction.


Helen Manders manages the translation rights for If We're Being Honest

Andrianna Yeatts

Email Andrianna Yeatts
Lucy Morris
+44 (0) 20 7393 4400
Email Lucy Morris
Translation Rights
Helen Manders
+44 (0)20 7393 4425
Email Helen Manders