The Author Stories Podcast Episode 619 | Kate Hope Day Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Kate Hope Day, autor of If, Then: A Novel.
“A must-read—a gorgeous literary novel that asks us to imagine all the possible versions of ourselves that might exist.”—J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Saints for All Occasions
The residents of a sleepy mountain town are rocked by troubling visions of an alternate reality in this dazzling debut that combines the family-driven suspense of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere with the inventive storytelling of The Immortalists.
In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a devoted surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker in Ginny’s own bed and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision that suggests impending devastation and grows increasingly paranoid, threatening the safety of his wife and son. Samara, a young woman desperately mourning the recent death of her mother and questioning why her father seems to be coping with such ease, witnesses an apparition of her mother healthy and vibrant and wonders about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to the project that could define her career.
At first the visions are relatively benign, but they grow increasingly disturbing—and, in some cases, frightening. When a natural disaster threatens Clearing, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same.
Startling, deeply imagined, and compulsively readable, Kate Hope Day’s debut novel is about the choices we make that shape our lives and determine our destinies—the moments that alter us so profoundly that it feels as if we’ve entered another reality.
Advance praise for If, Then
“Effortlessly meshing the dreamlike and the realistic, [Kate Hope] Day’s well-crafted mix of literary and speculative fiction is an enthralling meditation on the interconnectedness of all things.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Day’s complex debut explores the mind-bending idea that for every decision made, alternate choices lead to different lives. . . . Multiverse-theory fans will love the speculation offered in this novel.”—Booklist
“A suburban drama built to leap from page to screen.”—Kirkus Reviews
Kate Hope Day holds a BA from Bryn Mawr College and a PhD in English from the University of Pittsburgh. She was an associate producer at HBO. She lives in Oregon with her husband and their two children.