"Seriously good. . . . Deep and rich." — Los Angeles Times

From the critically acclaimed author of Happy All the Time and Home Cooking, a insightful and witty tale of a woman struggling to overcome her grief and find her future

When Sam Bax, a charming daredevil of a Boston lawyer, sails his boat into a storm off the coast of Maine, Elizabeth "Olly" Bax, his wife, is widowed at twenty-seven. With no pretense of courage, and a vague dislike for what she feels is the cheap availability of her emotions, Olly grieves the husband she probably would have divorced, while coping with the warmth and awkwardness of family trying (and failing) to distract her from their own grief. As she learns to rethink her life and her love, she becomes close to Sam's brother, Patrick—and begins to realize Sam's recklessness and passion may not be as foreign to her as she thought.  

Laurie Colwin depicts Olly—the “More Life Widow of the More Life Kid”—with humor, compassion, and a decided lack of sentimentality, creating a real heroine who tries to remain true to her heart while keeping her head.

About the author(s)

Laurie Colwin is the author of five novels: Happy All the Time; Family Happiness; Goodbye Without Leaving; Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object; and A Big Storm Knocked It Over; three collections of short stories: Passion and Affect, Another Marvelous Thing, and The Lone Pilgrim; and two collections of essays: Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. She died in 1992.


“I would love. . . to start a Colwin renaissance.” — Elin Hilderbrand, on NPR’s “All Things Considered”

"A seriously good book. Deep and rich." — Los Angeles Times

“Complex, adventurous, and exciting.” — Larry McMurtry in the Washington Post

"Colwin has written this spirited, insightful, often funny book with a keen sense of understatement that is extraordinarily powerful and moving." — Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Engaging, rapid, and filled with witty and exciting imagery." — Houston Chronicle

“Technique may be learned, but art is a matter of talent, a commodity parceled out by providence with breath-taking arbitrariness. . . . [Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object] left me in no doubt that its author is one of the golden few who can't, apparently, put a foot wrong.” — Cosmopolitan

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