Small World: A Novel (Hardcover)
From bestselling author Laura Zigman comes a heartfelt novel about two offbeat and newly divorced sisters who move in together as adults—and finally reckon with their childhood
A year after her divorce, Joyce is settling into being single again. She likes her job archiving family photos and videos, and she’s developed a secret comforting hobby: trolling the neighborhood social networking site, Small World, for posts that help solve life’s easiest problems. When her older sister, Lydia, also divorced, calls to tell her she’s moving back east from Los Angeles after almost thirty years away, Joyce invites Lydia to move into her Cambridge apartment. Temporarily. Just until she finds a place of her own.
But their unlikely cohabitation—not helped by annoying new neighbors upstairs—turns out to be the post-divorce rebound relationship Joyce hadn’t planned on. Instead of forging the bond she always dreamed of having with Lydia, their relationship frays. And they rarely discuss the loss of their sister, Eleanor, who was significantly disabled and died when she was only ten years old. When new revelations from their family’s history come to light, will those secrets further split them apart, or course correct their connection for the future?
Written with wry humor and keen sensitivity, Small World is a powerful novel of sisterhood and hope—a reminder that sometimes you have to look back in order to move ahead.
Laura Zigman is the author of Animal Husbandry, Dating Big Bird, Piece of Work, and Her. She has been a contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Huffington Post. Zigman lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband, son, and deeply human sheltie.
“A tender story of two sisters who, both in midlife and both recently divorced, move in together. . . A moving story about the power of family secrets, sisterhood, and memory. Readers of authors such as Jodi Picoult, Barbara Kingsolver, or Kristin Hannah will be affected by Zigman’s skillful and sensitive chronicling of a sisterhood simultaneously affected by the past and finding a new future.” — Booklist
"[Zigman] excels at depicting the emotional push and pull of sibling relationships. . . Yet she never loses her sharp sense of humor. . . A compassionate, often funny examination of shared family grief and love." — Kirkus Reviews
“Small World is a treasure: a family story that is wistful one moment, witty and wry the next. Few novelists write as beautifully about the damaged heart and the wounded soul as Laura Zigman, or understand the emotional bonds of siblings and sisters. I loved this novel.”
— Chris Bohjalian, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant and The Lioness
“I absolutely loved Small World -- a wise, warm, and often hilarious exploration of sisterhood and community, set against a nuanced portrait of one family’s tragic past.” — Shelby Van Pelt, author of Remarkably Bright Creatures
“Like all of Laura Zigman’s books, Small World is wryly funny and sharply observed. But this moving story of two adult sisters reconnecting in midlife also tackles some weighty subjects—family secrets, disability, abandonment—with unusual grace and sensitivity.”
— Tom Perrotta, author of Tracy Flick Can’t Win
“A profound exploration of the depths and limits of unconditional love, Small World examines what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a sister, a person in the world. By turns hilarious and haunting, this is a novel for the ages.” — Joanna Rakoff, author of My Salinger Year
“Hilarious, wise, and deeply moving--I loved my time with the Mellishman sisters and didn't want it to end. No one captures the tragicomedies of life quite like Laura Zigman, whose compassion and brilliance shine through on every page.” — Mona Awad, author of All's Well and Bunny