In the spring of 2020, Lara begins to tell her three children the story of how she once dated a man who went on to become a movie star. It’s a wistful yet performative recollection of youth, one that has the potential to clarify family secrets and heal old wounds. Ann Patchett’s latest novel toggles back and forth between Lara’s run-in with fame, acting opposite a future A-lister at a Michigan theater company on Tom Lake, and life during the pandemic at home with her grown daughters. The enchanting novel captures at once the slow burn of a summer spent in a sprawling, camp-like setting, where half a day feels like “a solid six months,” and the seemingly endless span of cloistered life during COVID-19 lockdown. For an extra treat, download the audiobook read by none other than Meryl Streep. —Eliana Dockterman

Buy Now: Tom Lake on Bookshop | Amazon


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