Alice Sadie Celine

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"Obsessed!" --Chloë Sevigny
"I am literally obsessed." --Busy Philipps

A hypnotic, sexy, and incisive debut adult novel following one woman's affair with her daughter's best friend that tests the limits of love and ambition from #1 New York Times bestselling author of Red Riding Hood.

It's opening night, but Alice's performance in the local Bay Area production of The Winter's Tale is far from glamorous. She doesn't have dreams of stardom, but the basement theater in a wildfire-choked town isn't exactly what she envisioned for her career back home in Los Angeles. To make matters worse, her best friend Sadie is not even coming.

Pragmatic, serious Sadie and flighty, creative Alice have been best friends since high school--really one another's only friends--but now that they are through with college (which they attended together) and living on opposite ends of California, Alice would at least expect her friend's support. Sadie, determined not to cancel her plans with her boyfriend, ends up enlisting the help of her mother, Celine.

A professor of women's and gender studies at UC Berkeley, Celine's landmark treatise on sex and identity made her notorious, but she's struggling to write her new book in a post-second-wave feminist world. So, when Sadie begs her to attend Alice's play, she relents, if only to escape writer's block. But in a turn of perplexing events, Celine becomes entranced by Alice's performance and realizes that her daughter's once lanky, slightly annoying best friend is now an irresistible young woman.

Set over the course of decades--from Alice and Sadie's early friendship days and Celine's decision to leave her husband to the radical movements of 1990s Berkeley and navigating contemporary Hollywood--Alice and Celine's affair will test the limits of their love for Sadie and their own beliefs of power, agency, and feminism. Witty and relatable, sexy and surprising, Sarah Blakley-Cartwright's debut adult novel is a mesmerizing portrait of the inner lives of three very different women.

About the Author

Sarah Blakley-Cartwright is the author of Red Riding Hood, a #1 New York Times bestseller published worldwide in thirty-eight editions and fifteen languages. She is the editor of Hauser & Wirth's The Artist's Library for Ursula magazine. She is publishing director of the Chicago Review of Books, and associate editor of A Public Space.

"Like Didion but with more warmth and a queer sensibility, Alice Sadie Celine is packed with so much of what I love in a book: tight prose, smart, fully realized characters grappling with inappropriate love affairs, and bright California land and light. It's extraordinarily lovely and I savored every word and didn't want it to end."
--Bethany Ball, Center for Fiction First Novel Prize Finalist and author of The Pessimists

"Here come three indelible women and, with them, one of contemporary fiction's most delicious love triangles. Sarah Blakley-Cartwright has written a gem of a novel - super smart, slyly sexy, and crackling throughout with kindhearted humor."
--Hermione Hoby, author of Virtue

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pub date: November 28, 2023
Length:
272 pages
Format: Hardcover