Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

Private Means

by Cree LeFavour

A deliciously compulsive first novel from the New York Times Editors’ Choice author of Lights On, Rats Out, Cree LeFavour’s Private Means captures the very essence of summer in a sharply observed, moving meditation on marriage, money, and loss

  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Page Count 240
  • Publication Date August 11, 2020
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4888-9
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $26.00
  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Publication Date August 11, 2020
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-4890-2
  • US List Price $26.00

It’s Memorial Day weekend and Alice’s beloved dog Maebelle has been lost. Alice stays in New York, desperate to find her dog, while her husband Peter drives north to stay with friends in the Berkshires. Relieved to be alone, Alice isn’t sure if she should remain married to Peter but she’s built a life with him. For his part, Peter is pleased to have time alone — he’s tired of the lost dog drama, of Alice’s coolness, of New York. A psychiatrist, he ponders his patients and one, particularly attractive, woman in particular.  As the summer unfolds, tensions rise as Alice and Peter struggle with infidelity, loneliness, and loss. Escaping the heat of New York City to visit wealthy friends in the Hamptons, on Cape Cod, and in the Berkshires, each continues to play his or her part in the life they’ve chosen together. By the time Labor Day rolls around, a summer that began with isolation has transformed into something else entirely.

Matching keen observations on human behavior with wry prose, Private Means, with its sexy, page-turning plot, will draw fans of Nora Ephron and Meg Wolitzer. At once dark, funny, sad, and suspenseful, LeFavour’s debut novel is a rare find: a tart literary indulgence with depth and intelligence.

Tags Literary

Advance Praise for Private Means:

“LeFavour’s first novel is a tart comedy of manners that distills the wandering spirit of summer.”—Chloe Schama, Vogue

“[A] lifelike, charming, and witty portrayal of mostly-well mannered marriage doldrums.”—Booklist

“LeFavour, author of the memoir Lights On, Rats Out, is an award-winning cookbook writer, but don’t expect a foodie novel. Fans of Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman Is in Trouble or Ann Beattie’s short stories will enjoy this wry, sophisticated, and intelligent rendering of modern, privileged city life.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“[An] empathetic and detailed portrait of a marriage.”—Kirkus

“This feels like an Ian McEwan novel. Served on a bed of Cheever. I can’t offer higher praise than that. But written by a woman, which is even better.”—Elizabeth Gilbert

Private Means is a lacerating, laser-eyed look at love in its countless manifestations. If I tell you it’s a story of devotion, betrayal, rage, desire, redemption, and the search for a lost dog, that’s only a partial account of the infinitely complex, exquisitely painful surgery Cree LeFavour performs on the human desire to love and be loved.”—Michael Cunningham

Praise for Lights On, Rats Out:

“A riveting account of a ‘particular kind of crazy’ … This is a courageous and unsettling memoir, infused with humor as well as pain, and marked throughout by a survivor’s wry insight.”—Daphne Merkin, New York Times Book Review

“Shockingly intimate.”People

“This gritty account of a woman’s struggle with self-abuse describes nearly gothic suffering. It is also a love story about a dedicated and gifted analyst and his difficult but equally gifted patient. Courageous and unsettling, LeFavour’s memoir is infused with humor and wry insight as well as pain.”New York Times

“Eloquent, irreverent, graphically precise.”Vulture

“Cree LeFavour uses the force of her blisteringly stark, mesmerizingly self-aware prose to not only unearth her own demons, but also equip the reader with the language to articulate our own as well.”