Author: Patricia O’Donnell
Hardcover, 236 pages, $24.95 (+ shipping & handling)

When Anna Donoghue agrees to spring her aged father from his nursing home and drive him halfway across the country to the Iowa town she grew up in and has no wish to see again, she believes that he is the only traveler in their car with something to find there. But the old man, helpless with Parkinson’s, is impelled by unspoken business that will rock her ordered world. And so will the revelations coming from Anna’s only child, heretofore-perfect 19-year-old Chloe—revelations gleaned from fragmented phone calls with Anna’s husband David, who is searching for Chloe in Boston’s backstreets. When Anna and her father reach Iowa, their road trip takes several directions at once, all leading straight to the heart of self and family.

This story of three generations calls forth the strands that connect us one to another. Necessary Places asks what takes us away from those we love, what return is possible, and how to find the forgiveness that can carry us home.

“Part family saga, part road trip, part meditation, Necessary Places is the rare novel that is deeply satisfying on all levels.” – Lily King, author of Father of the Rain, The English Teacher, and The Pleasing Hour

“In this sensitive, eloquent, and vividly detailed look at the complex rhythms of family life—and especially the parent-child relationship—Patricia O’Donnell has given us a set of memorable characters and a tender and involving story.” – Kitty Burns Florey, author of Souvenir of Cold Springs and Sister Bernadette’s Barking Dog

“Patricia O’Donnell is a writer I turn to for an absorbing story filled with humanity and insight. O’Donnell’s characters are so real, and their quest to understand and to make amends is so compelling, that I wish this beautiful novel could continue on and on. A tender, profound, and engaging tribute to the power of love to overcome distances between parents and children.” – Harriet Scott Chessman, author of Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper

Patricia O’Donnell’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Agni Review, The North American Review, Prairie Schooner, and other places. She lives in Wilton, Maine, and directs the BFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Farmington.