Elayna Leopold, 35, works from home in New Jersey so that she can raise her young daughter, Hazel, while her husband puts in long hours as a lawyer in New York. Elayna is typical of women who spend their twenties chasing dreams in the city only to spend their thirties chasing children in the suburbs. Yet no one knows better than she that life can change instantly. Two years ago her infant son died, sending her into a depression from which she's just emerging. Now, suddenly -- thrillingly -- Elayna finds herself craving life's passions again. When she meets Kevin, a young artist and neighbor, she discovers a version of herself she thought was gone forever. As she uncovers yearnings that could destroy everything she cherishes, a threat to Hazel emerges from an unlikely source, making Elayna's choices and decisions that much more critical.
Riveting, tender, and utterly real, "Sweet Ruin" is a gripping story about one woman's search for passion amid the challenges of ordinary life and a triumph of contemporary fiction from a writer known for her candor and wisdom.
"The dialogue is effortlessly pitch-perfect, the characters leap to fascinating life, and every scene unfolds with complexly intertwined sexual suspense and emotional resonance."
-- Kate Christensen, author of The Epicure's Lament "Intelligent and engaging, Sweet Ruin examines the fallout from grief and the intricacies of family, while weighing the comforts of the prosaic against the tantalizing allure of the new."
-- People "[A] skillfully imagined, bittersweet portrait of marriage and sacrifice."
-- Kirkus Reviews "Compulsively readable.... Hanauer has a poet's eye for detail and a spot-on sense of the specifics of mothering in the suburbs."
-- Jennifer Weiner