The Year of Pleasures

What’s it about?

When Betta Nolan’s husband, John, dies, she honors a promise she made to him to sell their house, drive across the country until she finds a town she likes, and move there. This is a novel about starting life over, and purposely enriching that life with the many pleasures, especially the small and free ones, that are always available to us. It also challenges the notion that a widow must or should behave in a certain way; and it shows how love does not die, but rather changes form.

What was the inspiration?

I’ve always had a fantasy about reconnecting with old friends, with opening a store such as the one that Betta opens. And I loved the idea writing about pleasure, which is everywhere, even when we’re in pain.


The Year of Pleasures Book Cover
Random House – 2005

“John and I talked about transformation sometimes, about what would become of him after he died; we shared that bravest and most sorrowful of intimacies. Mostly, though, I wold say that we talked in silence. In the language of lying in the dark and moving one’s hand to the other’s hip for a specific kind of anchoring. That’s how we talked most.”

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