You Only Call When You're in Trouble: A Novel (Hardcover)

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“I don’t think I will find a book I love more this year.”
—Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author

“Funny, poignant, joyous, explosive, but most of all affirming of our connections to one another. You Only Call When You're in Trouble is a book to cherish. A book that loves you back. What more could you want, my gosh? Read it!”
—Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less Is Lost

Is it ever okay to stop caring for others and start living for yourself?

After a lifetime of taking care of his impossible but irresistible sister and his cherished niece, Tom is ready to put himself first. An architect specializing in tiny houses, he finally has an opportunity to build his masterpiece—“his last shot at leaving a footprint on the dying planet.” Assuming, that is, he can stick to his resolution to keep the demands of his needy family at bay.

Naturally, that’s when his phone rings. His niece, Cecily—the real love of Tom’s life, as his boyfriend reminded him when moving out—is embroiled in a Title IX investigation at the college where she teaches that threatens her career and relationship. And after decades of lying, his sister wants him to help her tell Cecily the real identity of her father.

Tom does what he’s always done—answers the call. Thus begins a journey that will change everyone’s life and demonstrate the beauty or dysfunction (or both?) of the ties that bind families together and sometimes strangle them.

Warm, funny, and deeply moving, You Only Call When You’re in Trouble is an unforgettable showcase for Stephen McCauley’s distinctive voice and unique ability to create complex characters that jump off the page and straight into your heart.

About the Author

Stephen McCauley is the author of seven previous novels, including national bestsellers My Ex-Life, The Object of My Affection, and Alternatives to Sex. Three of his books have been made into feature films. The New York Times Book Review dubbed him “the secret love child of Edith Wharton and Woody Allen,” and the French Ministry of Culture named him a Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters. He currently codirects the Creative Writing program at Brandeis University.

Praise For…

“I read You Only Call When You're in Trouble at a moment when I needed to be around the intelligence and humanity of the novel's characters, and I'm still grateful for being so happily entertained and totally engrossed.”
—Francine Prose, author of Blue Angel and The Vixen

“McCauley’s novels are always a cause for celebration, and You Only Call When You’re In Trouble shows why.”
Andrew Sean Greer, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Less Is Lost

“I can’t find the words to say how much I love You Only Call When You’re in Trouble. This perfect novel has profoundly moving observations of human nature, emotional acuity, and brilliant insights wrapped up in warmth and wit. I don’t think I will find a book I love more this year.”
—Jane Green, New York Times bestselling author

“Picture F. Scott Fitzgerald with tongue in cheek and you get the gift of Stephen McCauley's You Only Call When You're in Trouble. I loved these deliciously flawed characters and every thought that runs through their heads. As with all things Stephen McCauley, it has the highest of wit and the sharpest of social commentary plus tenderness and much love.”
—Elinor Lipman, author of Ms. Demeanor

“Stephen McCauley’s delicious new novel follows its characters, light on their feet as they search for their best selves. Along the way, they dodge with agility an assortment of contemporary obstacles—flagging relationships, employment insecurities, delusional parents. The author’s rare ability is finding the humor lining sadness to create a complex story with emotional depth.”
Carol Anshaw, author of New York Times bestseller Carry the One

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250296795
ISBN-10: 125029679X
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Publication Date: January 9th, 2024
Pages: 336
Language: English