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Published by: Dzanc Books
Release Date: May 26, 2020
“When she refused me,” Charlie says at his trial. “Well, I had that gun. What else was I to do?”
Lawrenceville, Illinois, 1952: Jean De Belle, the new high school librarian, is eager to begin the next phase of her young life after breaking off her engagement to Charlie Camplain. She has no way of knowing that in a few short hours, Charlie will arrive at the school, intent on convincing her to take back his ring.
What happens next will reverberate through the lives of everyone who crossed paths with Charlie and Jean: the hotel clerk who called him a cab, the high school boy who became his getaway driver, and the English teacher who became Jean’s landlady, her confidant, and perhaps more.
In the vein of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers and Elizabeth Strout’s beloved Anything Is Possible, Yours, Jean is a novel about small town manners and the loneliness that drives people to do things they never imagined.
“Written with a deep and wide-ranging compassion that is rare these days, Yours, Jean is a mesmerizingly beautiful novel. Whether he is writing from the point of view of a lonesome middle-aged mother, or a young woman beginning her life with expectant joy and wonder, or a confused teenage boy or girl, or men and women trying to find themselves in any way they can, even if that means harming another, Lee Martin evokes them all with a breathtakingly poetic grace that penetrates the essential mystery of what it means to be human. Lee Martin is a master, and Yours, Jean is one of the finest novels I’ve read in years.”
―Andre Dubus III, author of House of Sand and Fog
"Readers expect either a true-crime page turner or a literary novel of exquisite prose―unless Lee Martin is doing the writing, and then they get both. In Yours, Jean ancient passions burn through the facade of small-town grace in a story that simply won’t let go, as Lee Martin proves again why he is one of the most gifted writers of our time."
―Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Deep End of the Ocean
"Like his highly acclaimed The Bright Forever, Lee Martin’s latest novel, Yours, Jean, is based on a true crime. And, like that earlier narrative, a finalist for the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, the interplay of rich details and raw emotions that Martin so masterfully unfolds in his latest novel makes you ache for the lonely men and women he tenderly brings to life in this powerful story about a murder and the lasting impact it has on a close-knit community."
―Linda Kass, Gramercy Books