book cover of The Other Valley
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The Other Valley

(2024)
A novel by

 
 
*Soon to be a TV series*

A Goodreads Most Anticipated Fantasy, Science Fiction, and Horror Book of 2024
Jimmy Fallon’s Book Club Top Four Pick

For fans of Never Let Me Go and The Giver, an elegant and exhilarating literary speculative novel about an isolated town neighbored by its own past and future, and a young girl who spots two elderly visitors from across the border: the grieving parents of the boy she loves.

Sixteen-year-old Odile is an awkward, quiet girl vying for a coveted seat on the Conseil. If she earns the position, she’ll decide who may cross her town’s heavily guarded borders. On the other side, it’s the same valley, the same town. Except to the east, the town is twenty years ahead in time. To the west, it’s twenty years behind. The towns repeat in an endless sequence across the wilderness.

When Odile recognizes two visitors she wasn’t supposed to see, she realizes that the parents of her friend Edme have been escorted across the border from the future, on a mourning tour, to view their son while he’s still alive in Odile’s present.

Edme—who is brilliant, funny, and the only person to truly see Odile—is about to die. Sworn to secrecy in order to preserve the timeline, Odile now becomes the Conseil’s top candidate. Yet she finds herself drawing closer to the doomed boy, imperiling her entire future.

A breathlessly moving “unique take on the intersection of fate and free will” (Nikki Erlick, author of
The Measure), The Other Valley is “a stellar debut, full of heartbreak and hope wrapped up in gorgeous prose” (Christina Dalcher, author of Vox).


Genre: Science Fiction

Praise for this book

"A breathtaking meditation on grief and the fluidity of time, told in elegant, precise prose, and which speeds to an audacious ending." - Kerry Andrew

"The Other Valley is a complex and elegiac exploration of humanity and our relationship with time. Told through tender and thoughtful prose, Scott Alexander Howard's novel leaves you wondering about the choices you've made in your life, and whether you'd do them differently if you had the chance. It is a tale of loss, of hope, and of possibility. It is a book that will stay with you, if not for its questions about fate and consequence, then for its quiet and moving depiction of love and grief. I loved it." - Nicholas Binge

"In The Other Valley, Scott Alexander Howard takes an ingenious conceit and wraps it in a story of teenage love to explore eternal questions about second chances and predestination. Howard's novel is sensitively written, propulsively plotted, and unforgettable." - Kevin Chong

"A stellar debut, full of heartbreak and hope wrapped up in gorgeous prose. Scott Alexander Howard is one to watch." - Christina Dalcher

"A bittersweet tale of first love and coming-of-age, as well as a unique take on the intersection of fate and free will." - Nikki Erlick

"Thoughtful, touching and beautiful, The Other Valley is an accomplished and exquisitely crafted novel. Scott Alexander Howard takes readers into a unique world they are sure to remember, and introduces them to Odile, a fascinating character with an unenviable dilemma." - Adam Hamdy

"The Other Valley comprises three novels, all of them equally enthralling. It is a satisfyingly detailed philosophical thought experiment; a moving, intensely poignant love story, and a masterful, slow-burning suspense novel. It lingers in the mind in the best way, and sits comfortably beside Ishiguro, Ted Chiang and Murakami on an ideal bookshelf." - Jo Harkin

"Part Ishiguro, part Amis, and somehow all its own, The Other Valley marks the debut of a phenomenally talented writer. Pay attention." - Sarah Langan

"The Other Valley is as riveting as it is philosophically beautiful. Scott Alexander Howard asks us to imagine how we might live if our older and younger selves weren't lost to us, but waited for us somewhere. While the premise is uniquely speculative, the sensation of being stranded between the ambitious optimism of youth and the clouded uncertainty of the future is gorgeously familiar. Powerful and atmospheric, Howard's novel is one I hope to reread at different stages of my life." - Sara Flannery Murphy

"What a stunning debut! This coming-of-age story is filled to the brim with heart and hope and Howard's prose is simply breathtaking. The Other Valley is a brilliant take on time travel and a thought-provoking exploration of the boundaries between fate and choice. Make room on your shelves, folks, this book is going to knock your socks off." - Sylvain Neuvel

"Astonishingly brilliant. My book of the year." - Liz Nugent

"eeply moving, gorgeously rendered, Scott Alexander Howard's The Other Valley is a powerful meditation on memory, and grief, and the possibility of real connection, even across time itself. Wonderful." - Steven Price


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