Readers of Mad Honey will adore this clever, deeply touching, buoyant new novel from an award-winning author. When his difficult mother is diagnosed with ALS, a sharp-witted yet sensitive artist reluctantly returns to his New Hampshire hometown – and all the ghosts he left behind.
As it turns out, you can go home again. But sometimes, you really, really don’t want to . . .
Home, for Noah York, is Oakland, New Hampshire, the sleepy little town where Noah’s mother, Virginia, had a psychotic breakdown and Noah got beaten to a pulp as a teenager. Then there were the good times—and Noah’s not sure which ones are more painful to recall.
Now thirty-seven and eking out a living as an artist in Providence, Rhode Island, Noah looks much the same—and swears just as colorfully—as he did in high school. Virginia has become a wildly successful poet who made him the subject of her most famous poem, “The Lost Soul,” a label Noah will never live down. And J.D., the one who got away—because Noah stupidly drove him away—is in a loving marriage with a successful, attractive man whom Noah despises wholeheartedly.
Is it any surprise that Noah wishes he could ignore his mother’s summons to come visit?
But Virginia has shattering news to deliver, and a request he can’t refuse. Soon, Noah will track down the sister and extended family he never knew existed, try to keep his kleptomaniac cousin out of jail, feud with a belligerent neighbor, confront J.D.’s jealous husband—and face J.D. himself, the ache from Noah’s past that never fades. . . . All the while, contending with his brilliant, unpredictable mother.
Bittersweet, hilarious, and moving, and as unapologetically candid and unforgettable as Noah himself, The Language of Love and Loss is a story about growing older, getting lost—and finding your way back to the only truths that really matter.
About the Author
Bart Yates is the Alex Award-winning author of novels including Leave Myself Behind, The Brothers Bishop, and The Third Hill North of Town, written as Noah Bly. He is also a musician, and plays clarinet, saxophone, and bass guitar. He lives in Iowa City, IA and can be found online at BartYates.com.
Praise for Bart Yates:
“Yates effectively captures the honest, sometimes silly, often tender interactions between his fragile characters.” —Booklist on Leave Myself Behind
“The next Holden Caulfield… Bart Yates’ main character and narrator, Noah York, has Caulfield-style teenage authenticity. Noah’s voice is more than just honest or original; it’s real.” —The Plain Dealer on Leave Myself Behind
"In his assured debut, Leave Myself Behind, Bart Yates wrung bittersweet romance and wry humor out of brutal fag-bashing and family secrets. His sad, witty follow-up, The Brothers Bishop, begins like a snappy beach read, but soon treads equally dark thematic waters. [Yates]... finds hard-won joy in hot-button issues. His compelling debut novel was no fluke.” —Out
“With Leave Myself Behind, Bart Yates gives us both the laugh-out-loud and refreshingly sincere coming-of-age story we’ve been missing all these years.” —Instinct Magazine
“One of the strengths of Yates’s writing is his ability to work out complicated plot points and weave together the threads of the story in a dramatically effective manner.” —Bay Area Reporter on The Brothers Bishop “Brilliantly written and funny as hell.” —Edge Boston on The Distance Between Us “Absorbing. Brims with quiet intensity.” —Publishers Weekly on The Distance Between Us