Another Life

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What to expect

Laura: a teenage girl struggling to fit into her small, sleepy town in upstate New York, slowly drifting away from reality and into the secret life she inhabits online. Paul: a twentysomething wannabe rock star, back home from New York City, broke and jobless, living with his mother. April: a math teacher with two kids, running her church’s vacation Bible school, discontent with another summer planning crafts and regurgitating verses. Ben: a boy stuck at VBS, still adjusting to the presence of his foster brother, DeShawn, a quiet, brooding kid from Brooklyn.

Over the course of one summer, these characters’ paths will collide in surprising, often hilarious ways. Encompassing questions of identity, religion, race, and family, Another Life is an absorbing and thought-provoking debut about the line we all walk between desire and responsibility.

Critics Review

  • “Keenly observed and gracefully written, Another Life captures teenaged life in all its restless, grasping, blessed turmoil. Robert Haller’s debut novel is set in the hothouse of a small religious community where the adults roil, too. Haller has the precocious wisdom to know that the grown-ups are only older, more wrinkled versions of their kids, human and divine.”

    Helen Schulman, New York Times bestselling author of Come with Me and This Beautiful Life
  • “A fresh voice meets an old soul in Robert Haller, whose Another Life won me over completely with its dark humor, refined earnestness, and uncommon wisdom. Each page is its own thrilling announcement that a new literary writer is on the scene.”

    Christopher Castellani, author of Leading Men
  • “Haller’s debut is a fast-moving ensemble story of an emotionally turbulent summer in a small town…Haller’s engaging story skillfully portrays how different generations grapple with faith, as well as the temptations of substance use and sexual exploration.”

    Publishers Weekly
  • “A sweet, fresh look at the growing pains of a conservative church community.”

  • “The novel is told through shifting perspectives, set around Vacation Bible Camp…They are striving towards righteousness, but finding that the mark set by the church may always be unattainable. When choosing between hell and grace, being human seems like its own sin. It is through discovering the distance between that they allow themselves to evolve.”

    Seattle Book Review
  • “With Another Life, Robert Haller joins the first rank of younger novelists. His story circles around a group of characters all members of a church in upstate New York. There is the wild minister’s daughter, the single mother trying to keep it together, the former rock star back home from a failed attempt to launch in New York City. Each story line is precise and soulful. Haller understands that our search for greater meaning and connection cannot be contained in a church building alone, or by a single set of doctrines. Family, race, love, God: Haller has original compelling ideas about all of them. I fell in love with this book; its humor, its many beautiful lines, its big, big heart.”

    Darcey Steinke, author of Flash Count Diary

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