If We Had Known

If We Had Known

A literary tour de force from the acclaimed author of The Blessings-a riveting new novel about one of the most urgent crises of our time.
One August afternoon, as single mother Maggie Daley prepares to send her only child off to college, their world is shattered by news of a mass shooting at the local mall in rural Maine. As reports and updates about the tragedy begin to roll in, Maggie, an English professor, is further stunned to learn that the gunman had been a student of hers. Nathan Dugan was an awkward, complicated young man whose quiet presence in her classroom had faded from her memory-but not, it seems, the memories of his classmates.
When a viral blog post hints at the existence of a dark, violence-tinged essay Nathan had written during Maggie’s freshman comp seminar, Maggie soon finds herself at the center of a heated national controversy. Could the overlooked essay have offered critical red flags that might have warned of, or even prevented, the murders to come? As the media storm grows around her, Maggie makes a series of desperate choices that threaten to destroy not just the personal and professional lives she’s worked so hard to build, but-more important-the happiness and safety of her sensitive daughter, Anna.

Engrossing and provocative, combining sharp plot twists with Juska’s award-winning, trademark literary sophistication, IF WE HAD KNOWN is at once an unforgettable mother-daughter journey, an exquisite portrait of a community in turmoil, and a harrowing examination of ethical and moral responsibility in a dangerously interconnected digital world.
Read More

Genre: Fiction / Fiction / Family Life

On Sale: April 17th 2018

Price: $13.99

Page Count: 272

ISBN-13: 9781455561759

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


"In elegant, gripping prose, If We Had Known offers a startling and empathetic look at the humanity behind the all-too-frequent headlines. Juska has produced that rarest and best kind of literature-a page-turner with a message and a heart."—Darin Strauss, National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author of Half a Life
"What a gripping and wise book this is. Elise Juska's unparalleled ability to convey how a single tragic event reaches out to change the lives of many is on full and compelling display here. I love when I read a book like If We Had Known and discover my next go-to gift for all my favorite readers."
Robin Black, author of Life Drawing
"Captivates through the close and honest lens it places upon each of its characters."— RT Book Review
"Juska's story nests in a thicket of current issues: social media, gun violence, teenage anxiety and anorexia, and the responsibility of academics with regard to troubled students. Well-written, realistic, and suspenseful to the point of dread."

--Kirkus Reviews
"There's no shortage of novels about the quirks and tragedies of large families, but The Blessings is a uniquely poignant, prismatic look at an Irish-Catholic clan as it rallies after losing one of its own."—Entertainment Weekly on The Blessings
"[A] bighearted novel. . . . Juska's moving, multifaceted portrait of the Blessing family gleams like a jewel."—The Philadelphia Inquirer on The Blessings
"The Blessings are a family so real in all their sorrow, joy and complexity that they could be yours or mine. Juska's portrait of this close-knit clan is bursting with wise observations about the nature of love and belonging. I enjoyed every page."—J. Courtney Sullivan New York Times-bestselling author of The Engagements and Maine on The Blessings
"Elise Juska is so good at describing people, places, and moments that you not only picture them, you feel them."—Curtis Sittenfeld on The Blessings
"Stunning...unique and unforgettable."—Glamour on The Blessings