Books·Canadian

Next Year, For Sure

Zoey Leigh Peterson's debut novel, which follows a couple exploring polyamory for the first time, is on the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.

Zoey Leigh Peterson

After nine years together, Kathryn and Chris have the sort of relationship most would envy. They speak in the shorthand they have invented, complete one another's sentences and help each other through every daily and existential dilemma. When Chris tells Kathryn about his attraction to Emily, a vivacious young woman he sees often at the laundromat, Kathryn encourages him to ask her out on a date — certain that her bond with Chris is strong enough to weather whatever may come.

As Kathryn and Chris stumble into polyamory, Next Year, For Sure tracks the tumultuous, revelatory and often very funny year that follows. When Chris's romance with Emily evolves beyond what anyone anticipated, both Chris and Kathryn are invited into Emily's communal home, where Kathryn will discover new possibilities of her own.

In the confusions, passions and upheavals of their new lives, both Kathryn and Chris will be forced to reconsider their past and what they thought they knew about love. (From Doubleday Canada)

From the book

I think I have a crush on Emily, he tells Kathryn in the shower. This is where they confide crushes.

A heart crush or a boner crush? Kathryn says.

He doesn't know how to choose. It's not particularly sexual, his crush. He hasn't thought about Emily that way. And Chris would never say boner. But it's not just his heart, either. It's his molecules.

So he tells Kathryn about his molecules. How the first time he met Emily, it felt like his DNA had been re-sequenced. How he felt an instant kinship and a tenderness that was somehow painful. How, whenever he talks to her, he comes away feeling hollowed out and nauseous like after swimming too long in a chlorinated pool. And how — this, sheepishly — he has spent days arranging and rearranging their bookshelves and postcards and takeout menus, to make the apartment not only as welcoming as possible but as informative. As compelling.

You're awesome, Kathryn says.


From Next Year, For Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson ©2017. Published by Doubleday Canada.

Author interviews

We talk to Zoey Leigh Peterson about the two alternating perspectives in "Next Year, For Sure". 14:50

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