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The Rest of Her Life

A luminous, compassionate, and provocative look at how mothers and daughters with the best intentions can be blind to the harm they do to one another.

 

Leigh is the mother of high-achieving, popular high school senior Kara. Their relationship is already strained for reasons Leigh does not fully understand when, in a moment of carelessness, Kara makes a mistake that ends in tragedy – the effects of which not only divide Leigh’s family, but polarize the entire community. We see the story from Leigh’s perspective, as she grapples with the hard reality of what her daughter has done and the devastating consequences her actions have on the family of another teenage girl in town, all while struggling to protect Kara in the face of rising public outcry.

Like the best works of Jane Hamilton, Jodi Picoult, and Alice Sebold, Laura Moriarty’s The Rest of Her Life is a novel of complex moral dilemma, filled with nuanced characters and a page-turning plot that makes readers ask themselves, “What would I do?”

 

“In this compelling story of female relationships—mothers, sisters, daughters and best friends—Moriarty’s characters grab readers the minute they enter the story, and recollections of their vivid personalities will linger long after the last page. Well-written, convincing and impossible to put down.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

The Rest of Her Life means to be piercing and at the same time exacting. When it comes to mothers and daughters, Moriarty gets it right, never more so than when things go wrong.”

New York Daily News


“Moriarty manages subtly to build a case for compassion for all of her characters, and especially for Leigh . . . [her] novel shows that . . . it is literature’s job to say yes, to every corner of life . . . yes to grief as much as to solace.”

The Washington Post

“One second really can change your life forever. In her deftly dramatic family drama . . . Moriarty paints a solid picture of a family in crisis trying to survive the unthinkable.”

USA Today

“The intricacies of this relationship are at the heart of The Rest of Her Life, a tense and completely absorbing novel by Laura Moriarty. Set against the backdrop of a single moment that will completely change a family’s life forever, this is the kind of book that will keep you up and reading until the last page is turned.”

Bookreporter.com


“Leigh is a multi-dimensional character—a mother who is also a professional with intellectual interests. Having overcome childhood deprivations, she has gained a toughness and a perspective that keeps readers engaged. Moriarty had drawn Leigh with such fine strokes . . . in this quietly engaging story.”

The Baltimore Sun


“Moriarty has taken a close look at a family in a way that is sympathetic, yet unflinching. As in her earlier work, Moriarty doesn’t take the easy way out: Although the characters do find a semblance of peace, their definition of a happy ending has been forever altered.”

Book Page


“A mother-daughter relationship can be a tenuous walk on a tightrope of power and control . . . and the delicate balance and love shared by a mother and daughter is the focus of . . . [this] contemplative book that reminds us how little control we really have in our lives.”

The Missourian