Publication Date: 14/09/2023 ISBN: 9781529177220 Category:

We All Want Impossible Things

Catherine Newman

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
Publication Date: 14/09/2023 ISBN: 9781529177220 Category:
Paperback / Softback




‘Nora-Ephron-style wit…comforting, so funny, moving… one of my favourite books ever’ MARIAN KEYES

‘Newman writes loss and laughter in equally brilliant amounts.’ BONNIE GARMUS

‘Dazzling, heart-wrenching, snorty-hilarious… An utter joy to read’ RACHEL JOYCE

‘An absolute masterpiece in characterisation… utterly beautiful.’ JOANNA CANNON


Who knows you better than your best friend? Who knows your secrets, your fears, your desires, your strange imperfect self?

Edi and Ash have been best friends for over forty years. Since childhood they have seen each other through life’s milestones: stealing vodka from their parents, the Madonna phase, REM concerts, unexpected wakes, marriages, infertility, children. As Ash notes, ‘Edi’s memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine.’ So when Edi is diagnosed with cancer, Ash’s world reshapes around the rhythms of Edi’s care, from making watermelon ice cubes to music therapy; from snack smuggling to impromptu excursions into the frozen winter night. Because life is about squeezing the joy out of every moment, about building a powerhouse of memories, about learning when to hold on, and when to let go.

For fans of Nora Ephron and Sorrow & Bliss, We All Want Impossible Things is a deeply moving, jubilant celebration of life and friendship at its imperfect, radiant, and irreverent best.


‘You’ll stay up late devouring every word’ KATHERINE HEINY

‘One of the best novels on friendship I’ve ever read’ AJ PEARCE

‘I absolutely adored this…what a beautiful, emotional novel’ JILL MANSELL

‘Shot through with whip-smart humour and boundless compassion. It’s one of the best debuts I’ve read in a long time.’ HANNAH BECKERMAN

Publisher Review

Rather a treat ... this novel is less about death than it is about life - the messy unpredictability, hideous unfairness and perplexity of it, as well as its one magnificent certainty: love. * THE SUNDAY TIMES * Remarkable ... A whip-smart, funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely characterised novel about how even the deepest of losses can be accompanied by a joyous affirmation of life. * OBSERVER * I adored this book. Jubilant, devastating, tender, heartbreaking, I found myself both in tears and 'snorty-laughing'. I know it will be one of those novels I return to time and time again, and recommend to everyone. There is so much love, funniness, honesty, courage, mess, bounce and surprise in this book, and not shred of it is mawkish. Loss might be the central theme but it is also the most robust and glorious affirmation of life. A masterclass on friendship, family love, memory, and the messiness of life and love and dying. Pure genius. * RACHEL JOYCE * Imbued with love and humour ... this special book is in a class of its own. * EVENING STANDARD * Breezy New York Nora-Ephron-style wit meets hospice memoir to create something profoundly beautiful...comforting, so funny, moving but never mawkish and packed with all kinds of love. It's one of my favourite books ever. * MARIAN KEYES *

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