How to Fall Out of Love Madly: A Novel (Hardcover)
“An honest and compelling look at female friendship, romantic relationships, and infatuation.”—Jennifer Close, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses and Marrying the Ketchups
Three women confront the compromises they’ve made to appease the men they love.
Joy and Annie are friends and roommates whose thirty-something lives aren’t exactly what they’d imagined. To make ends meet, they decide to rent their extra bedroom to Theo, who charms Joy with his salt-and-pepper hair and adoration of their one-eyed cat. When Annie goes to live with her boyfriend, Theo and Joy settle into a comfortable domesticity. Then Theo brings home Celine, the girlfriend he’s never mentioned, who is possibly the most stunning woman Joy has ever seen. Joy resolves to do whatever it takes to hold on to him, falling ever deeper into an emotional hellscape of her own making. She is too obsessed to realize that Celine’s beauty doesn’t protect her from pain. Haunted by an event from her past, Celine can’t escape her shame and finds herself in an endless cycle of self-sabotage.
Annie is baffled by Joy’s senseless devotion to Theo, but she’s consumed by her own obsessions: she can’t stop parsing her commitment-phobic boyfriend’s texts in an exhausting mission to maintain his approval. At work, where she fully embraces her natural assertiveness, Annie is a star. But when an anonymous letter lands on her desk accusing her esteemed and supportive boss of sexual misconduct, she is forced to decide who and what she’s willing to stand up for.
Perceptive, mordantly funny, and full of heart, How to Fall Out of Love Madly examines women’s many relationships—with one another, their mothers, their work, men, and themselves—to reveal their underlying power and complexity. It asks, why do so many smart, compassionate, otherwise empowered women tolerate egregious behavior from the men they love? And what will it take for them to reclaim control?
“Jana Casale is a master storyteller—observant, witty, sharp, and funny. How to Fall Out of Love Madly is an honest and compelling look at female friendship, romantic relationships, and infatuation.”—Jennifer Close, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in White Dresses and Marrying the Ketchups
“With wit, brains, and empathy, Jana Casale throws open the curtain on the inner lives of three young women and illuminates their pain and beauty. How to Fall Out of Love Madly is a literary triumph, and it’s also an absolute delight.”—Lauren Fox, New York Times bestselling author of Send for Me
“Jana Casale so intimately captures how these smart, capable characters talk themselves into living lives that they don’t enjoy. This book is funny and heartfelt—readers will root for all three of these women as they shake themselves off and start asking what might actually make them happy.”—CJ Hauser, author of Family of Origin and The Crane Wife
“Achingly funny, startlingly intimate, viciously familiar, How to Fall Out of Love Madly says every quiet part of being a woman out loud.”—Megan Angelo, author of Followers
“How to Fall Out of Love Madly fearlessly explores three women’s shifting desires and the systems that do—and do not—constrain them. Casale is a master observer, and she renders the frustrations and joys of everyday life in piercingly clear prose. She is also mordantly funny.”—Grant Ginder, author of Let’s Not Do That Again and The People We Hate at the Wedding
“Can a book resonate too much? Potent and poignant, How to Fall Out of Love Madly offers characters so lovable, and social commentary so sharp, that I have paper cuts from turning the pages and a special place in my heart for Casale’s unapologetic storytelling.”—Beck Dorey-Stein, New York Times bestselling author of From the Corner of the Oval and Rock the Boat
“In an even-more-impressive continuation of the work she began with her debut, The Girl Who Never Read Noam Chomsky (2018), Casale has again taken the detritus of women’s inner lives—the things we wished had never happened, the thoughts we wished we’d never had, the endless self-flagellation about our bodies—and made something funny, warm, and compelling; something sisterly in the finest sense of the word. . . . Casale’s narrative voice is deadpan, funny, and clean without being faux flat or pretentious. Casale is an American Sally Rooney, so smart about friendship and love.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)