Standard Deviation

Katherine Heiny

Graham Cavanaugh’s second wife, Audra, is everything his first wife was not. She considers herself privileged to live in the age of the hair towel, talks non-stop through her epidural, labour and delivery, invites the doorman to move in and the eccentric members of their son’s Origami Club to Thanksgiving. She is charming and spontaneous and fun but life with her can be exhausting.

In the midst of the day-to-day difficulties and delights of marriage and raising a child with Asperger’s, his first wife, Elspeth, reenters Graham’s life. Former spouses are hard to categorize – are they friends, enemies, old flames, or just people who know you really, really well? Graham starts to wonder: How can anyone love two such different women? Did he make the right choice? Is there a right choice?

Reviews of Standard Deviation

  • ‘Audra Daltry is a singular creation – a character so funny, so appealing, so sure that she can change the world for her family that she will jump right off the page and take up permanent residence in your heart. Standard Deviation is a marvel’ Kate Atkinson, author of Life After Life

    ‘A book so funny and perceptive I want to be friends with its author’ Laline Paull, author of The Bees

    ‘I have been a fan of Katherine Heiny’s writing for years but my adoration of her reaches a new apex with this, her first novel, Standard Deviation. It’s an irresistibly charming novel about age-old institutions: marriage and parenting. But Heiny’s brilliantly drawn characters and her keen insights make both topics feel brand new. A delightful, refreshing novel that illuminates the world of complicated relationships’ Elin Hilderbrand, author of Here’s to Us

    Praise for Single, Carefree, Mellow:

    ‘A wry, bittersweet debut … like Cheever mixed with Ephron’ New York Times

    ‘No matter how good you imagine it is, it’s better’ Glamour

    ‘A book that somehow manages to be both laugh-out-loud funny and wise, sometimes in the very same sentence … Amazing, brilliant, and nothing short of wonderful’ Jennifer Close, author of Girls in White Dresses

    ‘Lorrie Moore’s influence is palpable … these enjoyable stories mark the arrival of an accomplished voice’ Independent

    ‘Exquisitely-composed stories, Heiny’s book takes a disarming and wry look at the inherent nature of betrayal and secrets within relationships’ Elle