book cover of Wellness
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Wellness

(2023)
A novel by

 
 
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • The New York Times best-selling author of The Nix is back with a poignant and witty novel about a modern marriage and the bonds that keep people together. Mining the absurdities of contemporary society, Wellness reimagines the love story with a healthy dose of insight, irony, and heart.

"A stunning novel about the stories that we tell about our lives and our loves, and how we sustain relationships throughout time—it's beyond remarkable, both funny and heartbreaking, sometimes on the same page.” —NPR


When Jack and Elizabeth meet as college students in the gritty '90s Chicago art scene, the two quickly join forces and hold on tight, each eager to claim a place in the thriving underground scene with an appreciative kindred spirit. Fast-forward twenty years to suburban married life, and alongside the challenges of parenting, they encounter the often-baffling pursuits of health and happiness from polyamorous would-be suitors to home-renovation hysteria. 
 
For the first time, Jack and Elizabeth struggle to recognize each other, and the no-longer-youthful dreamers are forced to face their demons, from unfulfilled career ambitions to childhood memories of their own dysfunctional families. In the process, Jack and Elizabeth must undertake separate, personal excavations, or risk losing the best thing in their lives: each other.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Wellness is such a beautiful, sometimes sad, sometimes satirical but most of all honest book about the many people a person becomes - the way a life, in time, inevitably upends itself. A love story of dislodged chronology, Nathan Hill's brilliant interrogation of a single relationship spiderwebs out into almost every facet of our contemporary anxieties. Few writers working today have dissected, with such a sharp scalpel, the fundamental paradox of modern American life: this hopelessly broken need to fix what may not need fixing, to reach with utter desperation for a version of better that may not be better at all. Read Wellness with caution: it lays so much of our little self-deceptions bare." - Omar El Akkad

"A hilarious and moving exploration of a modern marriage that astounds in its breadth and intimacy." - Brit Bennett

"Nathan Hill has synthesized about a hundred years of that distinctly American delusion called self-improvement, and Wellness is the whip smart and gently comic result. Epic in scope, domestic in scale, it's a book that defies anyone to read it and willingly pick up a dumbbell or worry about counting steps ever again. Hill has released you, America, and his book will leave you not only fortified but amazed." - Joshua Ferris

"Wellness is one of the funniest, saddest, smartest novels I've ever read. In his portrait of one foundering marriage, Nathan Hill has encapsulated the pathologies and possibilities of our troubled era. With his razor-sharp satire and heartbreaking pathos, his stylistic virtuosity and human warmth, Hill has written both a propulsive page-turner and an artistic achievement of the highest order. I didn't think I could love a book more than The Nix until I read Wellness. It's a flat-out masterpiece." - Anthony Marra

"Ambitious, deeply engrossing, whip-smart and ultimately heartbreaking, Nathan Hill's Wellness is all this and much more." - Richard Russo


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