Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Off Course

Off Course

A Novel

Michelle Huneven

Picador

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"Skillful and perceptive . . . A complex portrait of a woman under the influence: of love, then obsession."—The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

The year is 1981. The United States has just installed Ronald Reagan in the White House, and Cressida Hartley, a Ph.D. candidate in economics, has relocated to her parents' A-frame in the Sierras. There, she plans to finish her dissertation on art in the marketplace, but instead Cress finds herself drawn into the life of this small community—and into the orbit of Jakey Yates, the owner of the local lodge. When she takes a part-time job with a contractor, she meets the Morrow brothers, and her distractions begin to multiply.
As Cress falls prey to her own perilous reasoning, she strays into dark new territory, where she becomes subject to uncontrollable forces from both within and without. At once sharply observed and utterly enthralling, Off Course evokes the pull of an intense, impossible connection and reveals what happens when two people can't let go of one another or their previous commitments.

SCIBA Book Award - Finalist

EXCERPT

One


Cressida Hartley moved up to her parents' mountain cabin to finish her dissertation. She would not become one of the aging lurkers around the Econ Department who hoped for sections of Intro to teach while the tenure...

Reviews

Praise for Off Course

“Huneven's touch is sure . . . The landscape descriptions are erotic, and the erotic scenes have near-hallucinatory power.” —The New Yorker

“Skillful and perceptive...A complex portrait of a woman under the influence: of love, then obsession.” —The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice)

“Huneven, a writer of great empathy and emotional precision, doesn't resort to cheap moralizing . . . She lets her characters play out their scenarios like real adults must--weighing the pleasures of the present against their own future guilt.” —Los Angeles Times

“Michelle Huneven delivers an enthralling tale of impulsive decisions, impossible love, and catastrophic consequences.” —Bustle

“Bring this to book clubs and test your friends' thresholds for reckless decisions.” —Marie Claire

“Huneven has a sharp facility with language that registers both the horror of how low Cress lets herself sink and the mundanity of it all.” —The Boston Globe

“[Huneven's] prose exudes such a rumpled, sensuous vibe, it practically gives you bedhead.” —Los Angeles Magazine

“The greatest triumph of Off Course lies in Huneven's remarkable ability to create a mood, and to bring the reader fully inside it.” —The Huffington Post

“Sensitive, reflective and uncomfortably true to life, with a wonderfully rich cast of supporting characters.” —Kirkus (starred review)

“If I had to highlight just one of Huneven's many abundant talents, it would be this: She makes you forget that the people you're reading about don't actually exist. You feel as if you were reading about your own family and friends… Michelle Huneven has produced a literary miracle.” —PopMatters

In the Press

To step out onto the vast lawn and be greeted by an adorable terrier and three appreciative men - Book Keeping

Book Review: A dramatic change of scenery for the main character in Michelle Huneven's empathic 'Off Course' fails to erase the kinds of decisions required of her. - Los Angeles Times

I couldn't sleep and I went into my husband's office and looked for a boring book to put me to sleep. Oh, there's Moby Dick, I thought. That'll do the trick. Five chapters later, I was wide awake and practically shouting with pleasure. - FSG's Book Keeping

I couldn't sleep and I went into my husband's office and looked for a boring book to put me to sleep. Oh, there's Moby Dick, I thought. That'll do the trick. Five chapters later, I was wide awake and practically shouting with pleasure. - Book Keeping

I imagine them driving en masse and on dates into Hollywood to see the Cramps, the Specials, the Blasters, a local rockabilly group from Downey, or the quintessential LA punk band, X, at the Roxy, the Whisky, or Madame Wong's in Chinatown. - Book Keeping

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Michelle Huneven

Michelle Huneven is the author of three previous novels—Blame, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Jamesland; and Round Rock. She lives in Altadena, California, with her husband, Jim Potter.

Michelle Huneven

© Karen Tapia

From the Publisher

Picador

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