It only takes a moment for your life to be changed forever—as the characters of this darkly comic novel discover early on. The fateful moment for the newlyweds Ross and Iliana comes with the freak automobile accident that leaves Iliana paralyzed, Ross grief-stricken, and both of them struggling to come to terms with a married life nothing like they originally had in mind. As the usually affable Ross struggles with guilt and with finding ways to cope with his newly fractured life, Iliana gets used to her unwelcome existence as a wheelchair-bound wife, to her husband’s growing sense of alienation, and to their awkward new lack of intimacy.
What ultimately happens with Ross and Iliana is as unexpected and surprising as the fateful mishap that sets the events in motion in the first place. Sitting Practice is a clever and insightful study of love’s collision with harsh reality, told by an author with a remarkable instinct for the workings of human nature, a nimble gift for language, and the ability to find humor in the oddest places.
“All of Adderson’s characters are rounded and all have utility, not simply as plot devices but as parts of a striving, suffering whole.”—New York Times Book Review
“A generous, clear-eyed study of love, human error, and resilience. Adderson is equally interested in the life of the body and the spirit, and is especially adept at exploring the point where the two meet.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Adderson’s prose is characterized by fierce intelligence, razor-sharp wit, and wry omniscience. She writes with a tone of subdued mirth or bemused wisdom that lends the book both immediacy and intimacy. In her hands, sex, religion, parenting, even something as simple as making bread come from a completely unexpected vantage that makes them suddenly new and strange.”—Vancouver Sun
“Adderson achieves a remarkable effect with her prose. Its clarity is so overwhelming that it becomes intoxicating.”—Globe and Mail
“Cadence and pacing are sure-footed, dialogue is pitch-perfect, the unfolding story utterly absorbing. This is a writer with all the talents required to keep on delivering.”—Quill & Quire
“The beauty of Sitting Practice lies in its conviction that true love can endure the unendurable. At the same time, it is anything but romantic fiction in the traditional sense. While her book may have heartwarming moments, Adderson is more concerned with the importance of being in the moment, no matter what life brings.”—Montreal Gazette
“Sitting Practice is a novel of substance that is a delight to read. Caroline Adderson treats the domestic drama with elegance and wit, and what she has to say about her characters and their circumstances is often profound—not to mention surprisingly funny, too. This novel is the real thing.”—Meg Wolitzer, author of The Ten-Year Nap and The Position
“A sharp-edged new writer in the take-off phase of her career.”—Margaret Atwood, CBC Radio