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The Book of Polly: A Novel Hardcover – March 14 2017

4.6 out of 5 stars 330 ratings

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“Delightful. . . funny and poignant.” --People

“A mother/daughter comedy steeped in quirky characters, personal history mysteries, and no small amount of love, The Book of Polly is a delightful read about one of the world's most fundamental relationships.”  –Refinery29

“Hepinstall’s Southern coming-of-age novel. . . [is] full of laughter and warmth and sadness. This is a warm and fresh tale.” –Publishers Weekly
The Book of Polly has heart and humor, revenge, forgiveness, redemption and a larger than life cast of pitch-perfect characters who bring to mind such Southern literary standard-bearers as Lee Smith and Fannie Flagg. Get ready to fall in love.” --Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders

“I am wildly in love with The Book of Polly. Hepinstall’s characters are so deeply drawn I could almost hear them breathing, and she has a gift for laying the hearts of even minor players open in a single sentence. This is a purely wonderful book about growing up, about growing old, about never going gently into any kind of night. I want everyone I ever met to read it.” –Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of The Opposite of Everyone

"Wonderfully funny, sneaky and involving, the characters in this story are unpredictable and outrageous. If you ever pined for a mother who would take a hunting falcon as her wingman to a parent-teacher conference, Polly is the gal for you. Delicious." --Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama 

“Hilarious and heartfelt, I wanted to wrap my arms round this book and hug it—I loved every page.” --Jamie Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

“With a drink in one hand, a shotgun in the other, the inimitable Polly Havens can steer a raft through a swamp and decimate squirrels in her garden with ruthless aplomb, with time left over for all-out war with her youngest child. A hilarious, page-turning battle royale between mother and daughter--where the weapon of choice is love.” –Wilton Barnhardt, author of Lookaway, Lookaway

"The Book of Polly is rich with the best kind of humor: quick, smart wit that strikes a perfect balance between wistfully inquisitive Willow and her mother, the one and only, Polly.” --Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life

About the Author

Kathy Hepinstall grew up in Spring, Texas, near the Louisiana border. Polly is based, in part, on Kathy’s own mother, who has as wicked a tongue as her fictional counterpart. Kathy now lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pamela Dorman Books (March 14 2017)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0399562095
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0399562099
  • Item weight ‏ : ‎ 567 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 16 x 2.87 x 23.83 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 330 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
330 global ratings

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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 10, 2018
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michael williams
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 1, 2017
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L. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Perfect
Reviewed in the United States on July 13, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfectly Perfect
Reviewed in the United States on July 14, 2017
Be prepared to fall completely in love with Willow Havens, her mother Polly, and all the other characters in the eclectic mix provided by Kathy Hepinstall in The Book of Polly. From the very first chapter, we learn that Polly is not the average mother. Along with being very much older than her daughter's classmates' mothers, she has all the spunk and sass a reader could possibly hope for. From her feuds with the neighbors to her battle with the Bear (her term for cancer), it's absolutely impossible not to be drawn completely into her story through Willow's search for answers to the secrets her mother has kept locked away from her.

Kathy Hepinstall's writing is also a complete delight. In addition to the beautifully crafted cast of characters (I particularly enjoyed Phoenix), her use of language to convey emotions, develop those characters, and evoke bouts of both laughter AND tears created an overall tone for The Book of Polly that made me wish the book went on forever. My favorite books are the ones that combine beautiful language with a sense of humor and heartwarming characters, and Hepinstall mastered it in this book. Where else can you find a character described as having "a permanently conflicted expression, as though, deep inside her, someone was trying to bathe a cat," which completely nails that description in the most unexpected way?

Furthermore, as much as I enjoyed Polly's story, I enjoyed Willow's telling of it and her own development as a young woman just as much. Her relationship with her mother left me completely frustrated at times and in tears at others. Willow's search for a family identity and desire for closeness with her siblings was both heartbreaking and heartwarming, and the only I know to truly describe this book is with two words--perfectly perfect.
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Helayne Spivak
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love Polly. And Kathy.
Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2017
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29 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Potentially THE BEST book of the year
Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2017
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30 people found this helpful
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