We All Love The Beautiful Girls by Joanne ProulxWe All Love The Beautiful Girls by Joanne Proulx

We All Love The Beautiful Girls

byJoanne Proulx

Paperback | August 22, 2017

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Who do the lucky become when their luck sours?

One frigid winter night, the happily prosperous Mia and Michael Slate discover that a close friend and business partner has cheated them out of their life savings. On the same night, their son, Finn, passes out in the snow at a party — a mistake with shattering consequences.

Everyone finds their own ways of coping with the ensuing losses. For Finn, it’s Jess, a former babysitter who sneaks into his bed at night, even as she refuses to leave her boyfriend. Mia and Michael find themselves forgoing tenderness for rougher sex and seeking solace outside their marriage: Mia in a flirtation with a former colleague, whose empty condo becomes a blank canvas for a new life, and Michael at an abandoned baseball diamond, with a rusty pitching machine and a street kid eager to catch balls in Finn’s old glove. As they creep closer to the edge — of betrayal, infidelity, and revenge — the story moves into more savage terrain. 

With honesty, compassion, and a tough emotional precision, award-winning author Joanne Proulx explores the itch of the flesh, sexual aggression, the reach of love and anger, and the question of who ultimately suffers when the privileged stumble.
Joanne Proulx’s first novel Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet won Canada’s Sunburst Award for Fantastic Fiction and was named a best debut by The Globe and Mail and Kirkus Reviews. A feature film adaptation of the novel will be released in 2018. A graduate of the Bennington Writing Seminars, Joanne lives, writes and teaches in Ottawa, Cana...
Title:We All Love The Beautiful GirlsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6.1 × 0.9 inPublished:August 22, 2017Publisher:Penguin CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0735232881

ISBN - 13:9780735232884

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from exciting, seductive & non-stop tension One of my favourite books in my collection.
Date published: 2017-12-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful prose and non-stop tension! This book expertly seduces the reader to the very end--it gets under your skin and stays there when you're finished. Real characters with complicated emotions--one of my favourites, ever!
Date published: 2017-12-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from darkly seductive great twists and turns, kept me engaged until the very end
Date published: 2017-11-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from beautifully poetic The author didn't linger on to many things that weren't that important to the story line. I thought that the main characters we very well developed and easy to like. You felt bad for them when things were happening and I found it hard not to imagine what I would have felt if this was happening to me. I also found the writing to be hauntingly beautiful. There were lots of descriptions but not overkill its very hard to explain but it had a beauty to the words that is not often found in novels these days. Another thing that I really loved about this book was that there was so much happening and everything moved so quickly but it never felt rushed. Great job.
Date published: 2017-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Impressive Very happy to have read the book
Date published: 2017-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read in 3 sittings I was addicted to this book, it was poetic, heart breaking, wonderfully illustrated, unexpected, and tragic. I would really love a sequel, there is definitely more story left to be told with all of these characters. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-08-25

Bookclub Guide

Reading Group GuideWe All Love the Beautiful GirlsDiscussion Questions1.      The author has chosen a quote from Alice Munro as the book’s epigraph: “None of that. Not allowed. Be good.” Why do you think she chose to use this quote?2.      The narrative focuses primarily on the Slate family: Michael, Mia, and Finn. Do you agree with the decisions they make over the course of the book? Why or why not?3.      Discuss the role that Frankie’s character plays in the book.4.      There are a number of plot twists in the novel. Which one was the most surprising to you, and why?5.      In the wake of Finn’s loss, Mia puts a sock around her hand and attempts to brush her teeth and button up a shirt, to experience what her son will feel when he comes home from the hospital. She breaks down when she realizes that she cannot help him in this difficult time. Discuss a few examples of moments where characters try—successfully or not—to put themselves in each other’s shoes. Does it change them?6.      What did you make of Mia taking Michael’s baseball bat over to Eli’s? Did her violence surprise you? Why, in the end, did she set the bat down?7.      Sex is a powerful tool in this book. Compare and contrast three situations in which sex translates to power in the novel. Do different characters wield this power differently? Why or why not?8.      How did you feel about Mia and Michael’s views on their sexual relationship? Do you agree with the choices Mia made?9.      Why do you think Michael sought out Dirk’s company? What do you think they each found in the relationship that kept them coming back?10.  At one point, Finn considers that maybe he is “a better person now…less afraid,” suggesting that after his accident he understands real love. Do you agree with him? Was it worth it?11.  The epilogue opens with a quote by Anaïs Nin: “Where the myth fails, human love begins.” Do you think this is an apt quote for the book?A Conversation with Joanne ProulxCan you say more about what inspired you to write this novel? Was there a particular scene that it all grew from, or a particular character?A story about a Russian boy who’d lost his hands to frostbite after stowing away in the wheel well of a Moscow-bound plane in an attempt to escape the poverty of his village; a story of a boy in my hometown who passed out drunk in a snowbank and lost all his fingers; a radio interview with a father who forced his son’s amputated arm into a dish-filled sink—a scene that appears in the novel—in an effort to get the boy to come to terms with his altered physicality: this is where the novel began. I was interested in exploring privilege as it relates to loss and whether violence ever has a place in recovery—to test the premise that “Sometimes softness works, sometimes you need a shakeup,” as Michael says in the book.This is your second novel, after the award-winning Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet. The two books are quite different in tone and structure. Was your writing process different for each of them? What drew you to such a different story?My writing process, my five days a week plus Sunday morning schedule, didn’t really change. And in both novels I wrote to try to make sense of the world. Just after starting Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet, my sister was given six months to live—this as the US was preparing to invade Iraq. I kept thinking about the thousands of families who, like my family, were about to be devastated by the loss of a loved one and the ultimate madness of war. Writing We All Love the Beautiful Girls, I was troubled by the seeming rise in violence against women as Fifty Shades of Grey climbed the bestseller charts. So while the two novels are very different in tone and structure, they both explore what connects and what divides us, the role of violence on a personal and global level, and acts of love as salvation—if that doesn’t sound too flowerchildish. That said, Anthem is all seventeen-year-old self-deprecating smartass Luke Hunter; he makes me laugh. Beautiful Girls is a more serious novel, told in one teen and two adult voices; imagining Mia’s, Michael’s, and Finn’s takes on the same event reinforced how difficult it is to ever truly know another person, even those closest to us.What was the most surprising thing for you in the writing of the novel? Did any of the characters turn out differently than you’d expected?I am not a big plotter. My stories unfold as I write. About a year into the novel, when I realized what was going to happen, I was devastated, unable to continue until I imagined the scene where Finn comes and comforts Frankie after the assault.As well, I was surprised by how much empathy I had for Dirk—the chapter where Michael finds him in the shed near the end of book was hard to write. Like Don, he is such a lonely character, unable to connect in a meaningful way with others, “an outsider even among outsiders,” the ultimate tragic figure.Have there been any authors who have influenced your work, in this novel or in Anthem?I love Don DeLillo’s sentences. I love Alice Munro’s quiet brilliance. I love Miriam Toews’ comedic touch when dealing in tragedy. I love Margaret Atwood’s prescient storytelling. I love Raymond Carver’s big, minimalist heart. I love Ali Smith’s mind. I love Leila Slimani’s The Perfect Nanny. But while writing Beautiful Girls, I felt most influenced by Richard Yate’s Revolutionary Road, a gorgeously crafted book that takes a hard look at suburban life in 1950s America, something I tried to do in Beautiful Girls in a present-day setting.What are you working on next?I’m researching my next novel, Invincible Summer, a dystopian-utopian tale of female strength and friendship in a hostile future.

Editorial Reviews

One of the Globe and Mail's Top 100 Book of 2017"When I finished this novel, I wanted to tell everyone I knew to read it. It is one of the best, most important books I've read in a very long time." – Marissa Stapley, The Globe and Mail"An emotional thrill-ride that manages to capture the tenderness and rage unique to adolescence and middle-age, the heartbreak of first love, and the fragility of even the most stable-seeming marriage." – Zoe Whittall, bestselling author of The Best Kind of People“With We All Love the Beautiful Girls, Proulx … moves firmly into John Cheever territory, exploring with a keen eye and incisive prose the suburbs of quiet desperation, peeling back facades to reveal the desperation and violence that lurk just below the surface. When that violence comes to a head, the results are as devastating as they are unexpected.…. Proulx excels with precisely that sort of subtlety and gradual revelation. As one reads We All Love the Beautiful Girls, impressions of the characters will shift and change, a verisimilitude that is the result of careful attention and unflinching honesty.” – Toronto Star"Provocative...Gorgeously written, Proulx's narrative offers a fascinating plot and both a searing exploration of the butterfly effect of trauma and the uncanny persistence of love in improbable circumstances."―Publisher's Weekly"Unflinching."―Harper's Bazaar, Best New Books“Believe the hype about this family novel that’s as complex as it is creative.” - Hello Giggles  “Proulx’s novel covers a lot of territory, with several twists and turns… The story excels in its depiction of women.” - amNY"We All Love the Beautiful Girls has the ability to leave a reader breathless. The plot twists are daring. The characters and their dialogue capture the ways in which adversity can alter people. Lovers’ wounds are plastered across every page and the veneer of civility becomes shockingly thin. And yet, in the end, love, decency, and forgiveness triumph. Think of the 1986 David Lynch film, Blue Velvet, in which brutality lurks just beneath the surface of everyday life, then erupts ferociously before disappearing back into the depths.” – Quill & Quire  “‘Be good,' one character tells another early in We All Love the Beautiful Girls. No one in this devastating novel heeds this advice. Proulx has written a story that’s as gorgeous as the winter stars overhead. You will all love this beautiful book.” — Neil Smith, author of Boo"We All Love the Beautiful Girls is a gripping tale of love gone awry,  In a lively plot filled with twists and turns, Joanne Proulx's characters flail about and pay a high price for their impulsiveness and rage.  This is a book to keep readers glued to the page, and enthralled by the author's skill and wisdom." – Lynne Sharon Schwartz, author of Two-Part Inventions"Joanne Proulx is a rare talent." – Lauren B. Davis "Proulx is, in other words, a talented inhabitor of people unlike herself...every new writer that surfaces so blessed should be cherished." – Toronto Star "It is impossible not to marvel at Proulx's mastery." – National Post"Proulx lays out what happens when very privileged people cross the line of social acceptability. . . . The book is also about anger and its consequences, both sexual and physical.” – Peter Robb, ARTSFILE“She preys on simmering class anxieties to craft a dark thriller about the pretense, deception and destruction that ensues when rich people lose their safety net.” – Toronto Life“With Joanne's raw prose, and surprising plot twists, we cling to the pages as she captures the actions and emotional impulse of each character as they are faced with adversity. . . . this isn’t a traditional family drama.” – Beaux Mondes