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Boston.com Book Club’s next read is ‘Something Wild’

Boston.com Book Club will head to the Boston suburbs for this debut novel from author and Grub Street instructor Hanna Halperin.

Join the Boston.com Book Club Wednesday, September 1 at 6 p.m. for a virtual discussion with Wellesley Bookstore co-owner Gillian Kohli and featured guest author Hanna Halperin on her novel, “Something Wild.

For our August read, the Boston.com Book Club will head to the Boston suburbs for “Something Wild” by local author Hanna Halperin. This is a story about sisterhood, adolescence, domestic violence, and cycles of trauma.

When sisters Tanya and Nessa Bloom come home to the Boston suburbs to help their mother pack up their childhood home, they come face to face with secrets, jealousy, and comforts that have been absent for a decade. There’s also a new secret — their mother Lorraine is in an abusive relationship.

As the daughters try to get their arms around the situation, be it through a restraining order or not, they come face to face with an experience from their adolescence that has shaped their relationships with men and even their sense of selves. These secrets can either consume them or free them from their family’s cycle of violence.

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Halperin, who is an instructor at local writing incubator Grub Street, has received near universal praise for the book. The New York Times Book Review said of it, “good books sometimes cut to the bone, and this one feels like a scythe.” The book has also received praise from The Washington Post, Good Morning America, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Marie Claire, E!, and Booklist. But it’s not just news outlets who have loved the book. It’s drawn praise from fellow authors Chloe Benjamin, Mary Laura Philpott, Dani Shapiro, Danielle Evans, Kate Elizabeth Russell, and Glennon Doyle, among others.

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“Something Wild” is Halperin’s debut novel, and it’s always exciting to celebrate a debut book. But Halperin is certainly no stranger to writing, as her work has been published in places like the Kenyon Review, n+1, New Ohio Review and other literary publications. Halperin not only has the writing chops, but also spent time experiencing and helping heal the types of trauma her book details. She has worked as a domestic violence and rape crisis counselor, and she told The Boston Globe that while everything in her book is fictional, “doing this work up close and being so close to trauma, it seeps into me and it seeps into my writing.”

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Halperin will be in conversation with Wellesley Books co-owner Gillian Kohli. Kohli and her husband Bill have owned the friendly indie bookstore in Wellesley’s center for more than a decade, and the store has been a Wellesley staple since 1999, when it was founded as the Wellesley Booksmith. Gillian, who is both an engineer and lawyer, leads an excellent team of booksellers at the 6,000-square-foot store that frequently attracts national bestselling authors.

Wellesley Books is also the 2019 winner of the Independent Spirit Award, which recognizes the New England bookstore of the year. Awarded each year by book publisher representatives who serve the region’s independent bookstores, last year every member store received the award in a show of solidarity for navigating the pandemic.


Join our virtual Book Club discussion

Join the Boston.com Book Club Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. for a virtual discussion with Wellesley Bookstore co-owner Gillian Kohli and featured guest author Hanna Halperin on her novel, “Something Wild.”

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Buy “Something Wild”: Bookshop | Wellesley Books

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