“A beautiful, emotionally engrossing story about marriage and motherhood, loss and longing. Patti Callahan Henry has done it again, capturing all the complexity of relationships with insight, compassion and a lyrical, unforgettable voice.” Emily Giffin, New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed
“An affecting Southern tale about second chances and banishing the ghosts of regret… Romantic storytelling at its simple best.” Kirkus (starred review)
“Lyrical and moving… Patti Henry's luminous story-telling shines through once again.” Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental
“Coming Up For Air is a beautiful exploration of the deepest mysteries of the human heart.” Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author of the Lakeshore Chronicles series
“Elevated by Henry's subtle, sometimes excellent characterization….Ellie's earnest quest for true happiness will resonate with many readers, especially fans of Kristin Hannah and Susan Wiggs.” Booklist
“A southern woman's journey into truth. A emotionally intense, beautiful and unforgettable novel. I loved it.” Robyn Carr, New York Times bestselling author of the Virgin River novels
“A buoyant journey of self-discovery from an author who understands the human heart… With the complexity of a sultry southern breeze, Coming Up for Air reveals the link between a mother's secret past and a daughter's hope for a new future.” Sherryl Woods, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Honeysuckle Summer
“Coming up for Air is heartwarming with a touch of magic. Patti Callahan Henry's elegant writing takes you on an emotional journey you won't soon forget. . . nor will you want to.” Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author of The Midwife’s Confession
“A richly textured story of love, loss and redemption reminiscent of some of the best southern storytellers.” Donna Ball, author of A Year on Ladybug Farm
An affecting Southern tale about second chances and banishing the ghosts of regret.
Ellie is devastated when her mother Lillian suddenly dies. Theirs was not a perfect relationship—Lillian was one of those moneyed Southern Belles devoted to perfection and protocol—but Ellie was a faithful daughter nonetheless. Cleaning out her mother's closets, Ellie comes across Lillian's secret journal, begun when she was a girl, with one single entry added every New Year's Eve for the remainder of her life. Ellie is shocked to discover this paper stranger: the carefree girl, the dramatic teenager, the passionate young woman, in love with "Him." The mystery man in question crushed Lillian, turning her into the exacting figure Ellie knew. Ellie fears this fate for herself. Nearly 50, trapped in a marriage to the right sort of man, living the right sort of social life in Atlanta, Ellie feels as if she's dying. And then Hutch O'Brien reenters her life. A curator at the Historical Society, Hutch is finishing an exhibition on Atlanta's Woman of the Year winners from the 1960s. Lillian was a winner and Hutch suspects it was because she was involved with the civil-rights movement. But Hutch is not some crumpled historian—he is Ellie's college lover, her very own wrong-kind-of-man. She tells Hutch about the journal, and the two head to Lillian's closest friend Birdie's house on the Alabama coast for some answers. As Lillian's secret life is uncovered, Ellie's marriage to Rusty is revealed for what it is: a loveless endeavor begun for her mother's approval and Ellie's own sense of safety. Spending time with Hutch shows her there could have been another life—one of passion—just as her mother could have had a different life with "Him." By novel's end, long-held secrets are revealed, the Alabama coast enchants Ellie into a new life, and Hutch, well...
Romantic storytelling at its simple best.