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With remarkable poise and startling beauty, Landslide ushers us into a modern household where for a family at odds, Instagram posts, sex-positivity talks, and old fishing tales mingle to become a kind of love language. It is a stunning portrait of a family, as compelling as it is moving, and raises the question of how to remain devoted when the eye of the storm closes in.

Early Praise for Landslide

A Bustle Most Anticipated Books of Winter 2021: “Set in rural Maine, Susan Conley’s new novel centers on Jill, a mother of two boys who finds herself living as a single parent when her husband is hospitalized across the border in Canada. But what begins as a strain on one wife and mother soon spirals out into a wider exploration of family life and function in Landslide.”

"Landslide is Susan Conley at her finest. As a mom of soon-to-be teenagers and a wife entering her second decade of marriage, I was enraptured by every chapter of this novel. Everything from the spot-on dialogue to the feelings of fear, loneliness, frustration, jealously, joy and isolation made me feel not only not alone, but seen.” 

— Emily Russo, Owner, Print: A Bookstore

“Susan Conley has knocked it out of the park with Landslide. It is a spectacular tale of hardship and healing told in Conley’s gorgeous, luminous prose. Funny, moving, and deeply insightful, the novel takes such a fresh look at marriage, motherhood, and the wondrous inner lives of teenagers. A truly beautiful and unforgettable love story of a family on the brink.”

— Lily King, author of Writers and Lovers

Best New Novels of Winter 2021: “When a fishing accident leaves her husband hospitalized in Canada, Jill must hold down the fort with their teenage sons in their small Maine town. Her sons keep getting into all manner of adolescent trouble, money is tight, and Jill starts to worry that her marriage is crumbling. A compelling portrait of family life, deferred dreams and middle age.”

— New York Post

"Landslide is a powerful portrait of a woman trying to hold herself and her family together in a moment of crisis. With startling clarity, Susan Conley captures the heartache, elation, intensity, and joy of motherhood and charts the emotional life of teenaged boys. Effortlessly readable and engrossing.” 

— Christina Baker Kline, author of Exiles and A Piece of the World

Books I’m Most Excited About in 2021: This absolutely gorgeous novel about a wife whose husband gets hospitalized after a fishing accident, leaving her money-strapped and raising three teen son in Maine, is a modern-day tale of survival.

— Zibby Owens, Moms Don’t Have Time Read

A Biblio Most Anticipated Winter 2021 Novel: Landslide is a stunning novel about a mother caring for her two teenage sons while the crumbling fishing industry her New England community relies on threatens to collapse around them. A beautiful portrait of a family, as compelling as it is moving, and raises the question of how to remain devoted when the eye of the storm closes in.

— Biblio

“With spare yet evocative prose, Susan Conley beautifully renders here the tug and pull of what it means to be the only woman in a family of men, a woman who is trying to raise two boys on an island off the coast of Maine, while also tending to her injured fisherman husband, while also trying to be the film maker she has always hoped to be. Landslide is not only a wonderfully compelling portrait of a dying industry and the people who make their living from it, it is also a love letter to the enduring nature of family itself and the ties that bind us all.”

— Andre Dubus III, author of Townie and Gone So Long

“Somehow, with wizardly brilliance and ease, Conley’s stunning new novel is about the global concerns that bind us all, while also being deeply, sustainably, intimately local. Conley knows about women among men—and women raising men—as thoroughly as she knows the peculiarities, struggles and habits of coastal Maine. She understands how place can imprint itself on a psyche, and her wisdom and humility, as a chronicler of these unforgettable humans, and this beautifully abrasive geography that shapes them, has produced as emotionally meaningful experience I’ve had, as a reader, in just about forever.”

— Heidi Julavitz, author of The Folded Clock

Landslide by Susan Conley is a supple examination of the sweet, enduring electricity generated by the ever-present pairings of darkness and light, fear and security, love and loss. If it sounds like a novel for our current predicament, current opportunity, that’s because it is. Landslide is wise and vulnerable, while Conley’s sweet, dry humor allows us sips of hope for the wonderful characters herein.”

— Rick Bass, author of For a Little While

“From its very first page, Landslide gives the complete and deeply satisfying pleasure of a great novel: a fully realized world peopled by characters you feel you know, or used to know, or wished you knew better. Complicated people trying to sort their way through complicated lives, and the complications are the stuff of ordinary human beings: a mother struggling to manage her teenage sons, her “wolves,” a fishing village in Maine staring down its end, a man in a hospital room miles from his family, and the sharp knife of accident that cuts through our days. As always, Susan Conley’s work allows for the best sort of vanishing. And I went gladly.”

— Sarah Blake, author of The Guest House

“If DH Lawrence had written Sons and Lovers from the maternal perspective, and set his story on the modern coast of Maine, the result would very likely be this novel. Landslide is not only a vicious meditation on the bond between mothers and sons, but a quietly subversive reckoning with the Maine of our literary imagination. So many writers have turned to our coast as a source of innocent beauty; Conley instead reveals how these tidal zones can betray us, and curse us with all of the anger and resentment, sacrifice and pain that can only be redeemed by a searing commitment to love. This is a really powerful book. It cuts right to the bone.”

— Jaed Coffin, author of Roughhouse Friday

“This psychologically probing novel, about a fisherman's wife guiding her teenage sons through a family crisis, is a shockingly honest examination of both the destructive and healing properties of mother love. It kept me reading past bedtime.”

— Monica Wood, author of When We Were the Kennedy’s

“Life in Susan Conley's wondrous new novel Landslide is full of a nagging sense that the past was better than the future could ever be. But it's full of sweetness, and hope, too. A funny, fond, and rueful take on what life on the Maine coast is like after the tourists leave, Landslide will stick with you, and leave you rooting for the flawed family at its heart, even when they sometimes find it hard to root for each other. An unforgettable book.”

— Brock Clarke, author of Who Are You Calvin Bledsoe

“One mother’s journey through the teen years... These conversations were so real that I laughed and cried and ached through each one. I felt two things simultaneously: that I could not handle one more story and that I couldn’t wait to see what the boys would say next. Jill’s life is wrenchingly portrayed in this beautifully written book.”

— Lorie Kleiner Eckert, LorieKleinereckert.com

“Through her disarmingly authentic portrait, Conley speaks volumes about changing ways of life.”

— Publisher’s Weekly

“Conley is at her best when chronicling the very real forces Jill balances while walking a fine line between empathizing with and laying down boundaries for her children… A compelling portrait of a family trying to stay afloat and weather every storm life throws at them.”

—  Kirkus

“Landslide is a chronicle of an artist and mother contending with the hard truth that the foundations we build through love are in fact always shifting. Conley navigates this territory beautifully, in gorgeous prose that depicts equally well the cold mists of coastal Maine and the economic and social troubles that threaten the region. I fell in love with the characters in this story, and was inspired by the protagonist’s struggle to maintain her identity as an artist while building a family and remaining tied to the land of her birth. This is a story about what happens when a rupture forces an examination of the past, and how we find the way to move forward. It is suffused with danger and pain and love and hope, just like family.”

— Sarah Perry, author of After The Eclipse

“This story is so full of life’s ups and downs that you won’t be able to stop thinking about the incidents that happen in your own life. The impact they have on yourself and others. Susan Conley deftly explores the traumas that are hidden in the family — from her sons trying to understand their father’s accident to dealing with the loss of a friend. Landslide is going to be on everyone’s must read list and will be perfect for a book club pick.”

— Kelly Barbara, Owner, Kelly’s Books

Landslide is a powerful portrayal of modern parenting, marriage and family unity that cleverly reveals just how difficult these things can be in this age of social media addiction, teen peer pressure and economic uncertainty. Conley’s writing is crisp and vivid, especially the dialogue between mother and sons, wife and husband. There is some humor, but it’s muted in favor of the real-life family drama she so convincingly exposes.”

Bushnell on BooksThe Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel