OVERRIDE

Cost

A Novel

Roxana Robinson

Picador

Longlisted for the International IMPAC Literary Award
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Named a 'Good Read' by the National Book Critics Circle
A Washington Post Top Five Book of the Year
A Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year
A Seattle Times Best Book of the Year
A Library Journal Best Book of the Year
 
In Cost, Roxana Robinson tackles addiction and explores its effects on the bonds of family with her hallmark subtlety and precision in evoking the emotional interiors of her characters. The result is a work in which the reader’s compassion for every character remains unflagging to the end.

When Julia Lambert, an art professor, settles into her idyllic Maine house for the summer, she plans to spend the time tending her fragile relationships with her father, a repressive neurosurgeon, and her gentle mother, who is descending into Alzheimer’s. But a shattering revelation intrudes: Julia’s son Jack has spiraled into heroin addiction.

In an attempt to save him, Julia marshals help from her looseknit clan: elderly parents; remarried ex-husband; removed sister; and combative eldest son. Ultimately, heroin courses through the characters’ lives with an impersonal and devastating energy, sweeping the family into a world in which deceit, crime, and fear are part of daily life.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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Her memory was gone.

It came to Katharine like a soft shock, like a blow inside the head. She was in the yellow bedroom at her daughter’s house in Maine, standing at the bureau, getting ready for lunch. She’d just finished doing her hair, smoothing it back to her modest bun, tucking in the small combs to hold it in place. The combs were hardly necessary now, her long, fine hair—still mostly black—had turned wispy and weightless, and no longer needed restraint. But vanity, like beauty, is partly habit, and Katharine still put the combs carefully into her thinning

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REVIEWS

Praise for Cost

A NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW EDITORS' CHOICE
A WASHINGTON POST
TOP FIVE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A SEATTLE TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

"Artfully portrays a family transformed by the far-reaching consequences of a son's heroin addiction."--Vanity Fair

"Cost applies Roxana Robinson's trademark gifts as an intelligent, sensitive analyst of family life. . . . A warmly human and deeply satisfying book, marking a new level of ambition and achievement for this talented author."--Chicago Tribune

"Scarily good . . . with such fierce moments of anxiety and grief, this is, frankly, a challenging novel to read, but Robinson's insight makes it impossible to break away."--The Washington Post

"Pitch-perfect . . . Cost is unusual for being as plot-driven as it is character-driven, and the assured manner in which Robinson builds toward the inevitable train wreck is matched by her acuity in bringing us inside the characters’ minds."--The New York Times Book Review

"Cost is unsparing but not bleak. It is both lyrical and unsentimental, richly honest and humane--summer reading of uncommon stature."--The Wall Street Journal

"Gripping . . . Robinson paints a chilling portrait of addiction."--People

"An emotionally incisive story about change--the permeable bonds between family members and an individual's fluctuating sense of self."--Time Out (New York)

"[A] piercing novel . . . Robinson has always been a sensitive and revelatory writer, but she attains new degrees of intensity here. . . . Her illuminations of the churning inner lives of her smart and deep-feeling characters depict good people facing brutal forces beyond the reach of reason and love."--Booklist

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Roxana Robinson

  • ROXANA ROBINSON is the author of three earlier novels, three collections of short stories, and the biography Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, More, and Vogue, among other publications.

  • Roxana Robinson Marion Ettlinger

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Cost

A Novel

Roxana Robinson

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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