Pacific Northwest Book Award Finalist
Nothing puts love and friendship to the test like a baby...especially one who isn’t quite yours.
When Jill becomes both pregnant and single at the end of one spring semester, she and her two closest friends plunge into an experiment in tri-parenting, tri-schooling, and tri-habitating as grad students in Seattle. They imagine that love and a detailed schedule are all they need to make a family, but soon they realize that the families we choose for ourselves are just as complicated as the traditional kind. With whip-smart dialogue and propulsive storytelling, The Atlas of Love tells the adventure of this tangled modern family with humor, poignancy, and wisdom and shows how three lives are forever changed by (un)cooperative parenting, literature, and one tiny baby who upends and uplifts their entire world.
"Strikingly pure of heart, voice and message, The Atlas of Love tells the story of a life lived on the treadmill of academia. It is likely to be a favorite of your bookseller, because it's a life that will resonate -- a lot of hard work, little traditional payoff, yet, somehow, all worthwhile. Therein lies the brilliance of this book. Frankel puts the reader into that frame of being, where it becomes easy to understand how a friend would be willing to give so much to help sustain another. Though the payoff is hard-earned and unusual, it's also extraordinary. Frankel's prose flows easily, heavily laced with candor, wit, and emotion, in a way that brings to mind a modern Jane Austen of the Pacific Northwest."
--Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Awards Committee
"Laurie Frankel displays a great ear for dialogue and a witty turn of phrase in quick characterizations....She makes the lovely optimism shared by the three young women compellingly real."
"The narrative is sprinkled with literary techniques that color each chapter beautifully. Verdict: Frankel's debut is a wonderful literary treat that offers a fresh twist on the modern family, one that relies on the bonds of women."
--Library Journal Starred Review
"This beautifully written debut novel offers something for everyone--humor, richly drawn characters and a tender exploration of love, friendship and food."
--L.A. Times Magazine