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  • Hodder Paperbacks
  • Hodder & Stoughton
  • Hodder & Stoughton

When You Read This: The most funny, heart-warming and life-affirming book of 2019

Mary Adkins

6 Reviews

Rated 0

USA, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

WHEN YOU READ THIS is a warm, heart-breaker of a novel, and just as you think you might be on the verge of tears, it will tip you over into laughter instead.

'Deeply moving but also uplifting' Anne Youngson, author of Meet Me at the Museum

For four years, Iris Massey worked side by side with PR maven Smith Simonyi, helping clients perfect their brands. But Iris has died, taken by terminal illness at only thirty-three.

Adrift without his friend and colleague, Smith is surprised to discover that in her last six months, Iris created a blog filled with sharp and often funny musings on the end of a life not quite fulfilled. She also made one final request: for Smith to get her posts published as a book. With the help of his charmingly eager, if overbearingly forthright, new intern Carl, Smith tackles the task of fulfilling Iris's last wish.

Before he can do so, though, he must get the approval of Iris's big sister Jade, an haute cuisine chef who's been knocked sideways by her loss. Each carrying their own baggage, Smith and Jade end up on a collision course with their own unresolved pasts and with each other.

Funny and moving in equal measures, When You Read This is a sparkling debut about love, life, and all the emails you really wish you'd never sent.

Praise for When You Read This:

'Thought-provoking, tear-jerking, funny - and [with] a delectable literary twist' Refinery29

'A touching, funny and life-affirming tale' Publishers Weekly

'As with Maria Semple's Where'd You Go Bernadette, Adkins's debut novel is so much more than its clever style . . . [it] feels miraculous and leaves a lasting impression long after its final moment' Val Emmich, author of The Reminders

'This gentle tragicomedy . . . deals sensitively with loss' Daily Mail

What reviewers have said about When You Read This:

'A marvellous, funny, poignant and uplifting book . . . I hope you enjoy it as much as I did'

'I could not put it down . . . a very original and emotional read'

'What a delight this book is! . . . touched my heart and made me laugh'

'I read it in a single sitting, enjoying every minute of it'

'This book is a treasure. Every character is so full and unforgettable. Sad and funny and hopeful'

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Praise for When You Read This: The most funny, heart-warming and life-affirming book of 2019

  • A touching, funny, and life-affirming tale - Publishers Weekly

  • Mary has pulled off the trick of being both funny (every office should have Carl as an intern) while dealing, seriously, with serious subjects . . . deeply moving but also uplifting

  • As with Maria Semple's mixed-media masterwork Where'd You Go, Bernadette, Adkins's debut novel is so much more than its clever style . . . WHEN YOU READ THIS feels miraculous and leaves a lasting impression long after its final moment.

  • This inventive and hilarious novel has it all: Mid-life crisis sufferers denying their regrets, a lawless intern with alarming email etiquette, poetic online therapists and a moving message about the resiliency of the human heart. Read this book-I loved it!

  • A remarkable new take on the epistolary novel, WHEN YOU READ THIS manages to thread the finest of needles: a book about a young woman who died of cancer that is neither maudlin nor sentimental, but rather, clear-eyed and poignant. One of the more memorable books I've read this year

  • Warm, original, funny and heartbreaking, this novel made me drop everything so I could read it in one lovely afternoon. I adored it

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Mary Adkins

Mary Adkins is a former lawyer living in New York. She teaches storytelling for The Moth and is an award-winning playwright. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, The Atlantic and more.

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