Iris Flynn is an acerbic, self-sufficient seventy-three-year-old widow with a minor Hollywood career in her past and some streamlined kitchen cabinets inspired by Marie Kondo. Her composed and simplified existence is disrupted when her son Frank lands on her doorstep after his rental home is destroyed in a wildfire, the latest in a string of personal setbacks for Frank. He arrives with Logan, his young and handsome boyfriend, a featured extra on a teen soap opera with a loyal Instagram following.

Soon, news from her estranged family in Maine forces everyone out of their comfort zone. Iris convinces Frank and Logan to travel with her to the potato farm from where she made a quick getaway fifty years earlier, unleashing a funny and poignant family saga about secrets, forgiveness, and the fluctuating map of the human heart.

An extraordinary story about family resilience, missed connections and second chances that assures us it’s sometimes okay to create our own Hollywood endings.

Releases Tuesday, November 14

Releases Tuesday, November 14

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Editorial Reviews

“A quirky family story told with wit and wisdom, with shades of Anne Tyler or Elizabeth Strout.”

Kirkus Reviews 

“A wonderfully engaging tale of both family and the underside of fame, Bill Gaythwaite’s debut novel Underburn mirrors the deceptive richness of the very generational ties it so charmingly explores: the long memories, conflicts big and small, surprisingly pivotal moments, and rediscovered bonds. One rarely encounters characters drawn with such candor, warmth, and humanity: you will gladly cheer and care for everyone as they seek to make peace with the past, while risking it all for a brand-new future.”

— Natalie Jenner, author of the international bestseller The Jane Austen Society

“In Underburn, Bill Gaythwaite gives us a mindful and compelling account of a family navigating the distances between generations—and coasts. An engaging and elegantly written novel.”

—David Leavitt, author of Shelter in Place

Bill Gaythwaite has written the rare novel that is as gently touching as it is sharply hilarious. The characters in this book leapt off the page and into my heart, their every messy move captured with emotional precision. Underburn is a book to cherish.”

—Abdi Nazemian, author of Stonewall Honor book Like a Love Story and Only This Beautiful Moment

“A poignant, funny, and timely family drama following the often-twisted paths we navigate toward understanding, reconciliation, and forgiveness.”

— Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men

“A witty, heartfelt novel with endearing, imperfect characters who are impossible to resist, a deft examination of a family in flux.”

— Kristyn Kusek Lewis, Contributing Books Editor, Real Simple