Books·Canadian

Her Turn

A novel by Katherine Ashenburg.

Katherine Ashenburg

Liz is a columnist at a national newspaper in Washington, D.C. in 2014, where rumours that Hillary Clinton will run for the presidency are the talk of the town. Divorced and the mother of a college-age son, Liz has a full life: fantastic friends, a job she adores, and a breezy non-committal dating life. On the surface, Liz is thriving, but deep inside she is stalled in neutral, stuck in a clandestine affair with her married boss and still brooding on her marriage, which ended in betrayal, hurt and anger 12 years ago.

Liz's job is to edit an anonymous column called "My Turn," choosing personal essays sent in from readers around the country. One day, her tidy life is upended when a submission about a marital squabble arrives from Seattle, from Nicole, the very woman who had an affair with Liz's ex-husband and is now married to him. Wife Two has no idea that she is sending an essay to Wife One, and Liz manages to keep her identity a secret while she engages in a long, ever more brutal "edit" of the piece. Still, the existence of the essay destabilizes Liz, and she starts acting erratically — abruptly ending her affair with the boss, publishing provocative essays that infuriate her colleagues and readers, investing in a growing pile of unread self-help books about "forgiveness," and indulging in some questionable romantic decisions.

When the tangled web of Liz's deception with Nicole is suddenly exposed, Liz must face the harm she's causing others — and herself. She attempts to make amends, with shocking, farcical, and entirely unexpected results. A witty, smart, wise, and sparkling novel with moving depths (and musings on the pursuit of forgiveness) beneath its delightful surface. (From Knopf Canada)

Her Turn is available in July 2021. 

Katherine Ashenburg is a writer, journalist who has worked for the Globe and Mail and the CBC. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Going to Town, The Mourner's Dance, The Dirt on Clean and the novel Sofie & Cecilia.

Other books by Katherine Ashenburg

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