“I loved everything about The People We Keep….Allison Larkin has given us a heroine who is raw and real, a young person capable of breaking your heart one moment and lifting it up the next.” —Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant
“True and tender-hearted….Read it! You’ll be so glad you did.” —Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of A Well-Behaved Woman
Little River, New York, 1994: April Sawicki is living in a motorless motorhome that her father won in a poker game. Failing out of school, picking up shifts at Margo’s diner, she’s left fending for herself in a town where she’s never quite felt at home. When she “borrows” her neighbor’s car to perform at an open mic night, she realizes her life could be much bigger than where she came from. After a fight with her dad, April packs her stuff and leaves for good, setting off on a journey to find a life that’s all hers.
Driving without a chosen destination, she stops to rest in Ithaca. Her only plan is to survive, but as she looks for work, she finds a kindred sense of belonging at Cafe Decadence, the local coffee shop. Still, somehow, it doesn’t make sense to her that life could be this easy. The more she falls in love with her friends in Ithaca, the more she can’t shake the feeling that she’ll hurt them the way she’s been hurt.
As April moves through the world, meeting people who feel like home, she chronicles her life in the songs she writes and discovers that where she came from doesn’t dictate who she has to be.
This lyrical, unflinching tale is for anyone who has ever yearned for the fierce power of found family or to grasp the profound beauty of choosing to belong.
“I loved everything about The People We Keep, beginning with the narrator, April Sawicki, who is both wise beyond her years and unbelievably naive, to the fact it’s 1994 and no one has a cell phone. Allison Larkin has given us a heroine who is raw and real, a young person capable of breaking your heart one moment and lifting it up the next.” —Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant and Hour of the Witch
“This book is for everyone who has known or has been the tough and troubled outsider in search of their place and their people. It’s a story so true and tender-hearted that I want to wrap it in a hug and buy it some soup. Read it! You’ll be so glad you did.” —Therese Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald and A Well-Behaved Woman
“Raw, surprising and ultimately uplifting, Allison Larkin’s The People We Keep will break your heart a million different ways before putting it back together again.” —Julia Claiborne Johnson, author of Be Frank with Me and Better Luck Next Time
“What does it mean to feel at home in the world? To find our true family? In Larkin’s luminous new novel, a young songwriter steals a car, hits the road, and struggles against all odds to try to find the answer. About the people we choose—and even more importantly the people who choose us—The People We Keep is both a profound love letter to creative resilience and a reminder that sometimes even tragedy can be a kind of blessing.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You, Cruel Beautiful World, and With or Without You
“An emotionally gripping journey with one of the most compelling and determined protagonists I’ve met in a long time. April had me on the first page and hasn’t let me go yet. Her quest to heal deep childhood wounds and find her true place in the world is one that will resonate with every reader. Allison Larkin has created the perfect tribute to the healing power of music, the road, and the souls we meet along the way, those who truly belong to us.” —Brunonia Barry, New York Times bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Fifth Petal
“In sparkling and unflinching prose, Larkin spins a propulsive story about friendship and intimacy, love and loss, and the healing power of art. A big-hearted and deeply moving novel.” —Bruce Holsinger, author of The Gifted School
“Raw, emotional, and deeply consuming, The People We Keep is the kind of novel that sticks in your soul. Allison Larkin brings insight and emotion to this tale of a young woman’s odyssey, creating characters so believable you’ll almost start Googling them to find out if they’re real.” —Ann Mah, bestselling author of The Lost Vintage
“Tender, tragic, and triumphant. Allison Larkin has created a cast of characters in The People We Keep that thrums with realism—stripped bare, naked humanity—and a story that sings of what it means to build the family you need when life doesn’t give that to you from birth. This is a story you will never forget. I loved it with all my heart.” —Therese Walsh, author of The Moon Sisters
About the Author
Allison Larkin is the internationally bestselling author of the novels Stay, Why Can’t I Be You, and Swimming for Sunlight. Her short fiction has been published in the Summerset Review and Slice, and nonfiction in the anthologies, I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship and Author in Progress. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, with her husband, Jeremy, and their fearful, faithful German Shepherd, Stella.