Honestly, We Meant Well: A Novel (Paperback)
“This rollicking book has it all: sex, lies, and scenery. Grant Ginder weaves a wonderful, engrossing multi-generational family story, with the Greek isles as a backdrop so beautiful that the reader will want to dive in.”—Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers and Modern Lovers
An Entertainment Weekly Must Read
Named Best Book of the Summer by: The New York Post - Newsweek - Bloomberg Business Week - Southern Living - Pop Sugar - Parade - The Betches
An irresistible, deftly observed novel about family, regret, and vacation by the author of The People We Hate at the Wedding
Family vacation always comes with baggage.
The Wright family is in ruins. Sue Ellen Wright has what she thinks is a close-to-perfect life. A terrific career as a Classics professor, a loving husband, and a son who is just about to safely leave the nest.
But then disaster strikes. She learns that her husband is cheating, and that her son has made a complete mess of his life. So, when the opportunity to take her family to a Greek island for a month presents itself, she jumps at the chance. This sunlit Aegean paradise, with its mountains and beaches is, after all, where she first fell in love with both a man and with an ancient culture. Perhaps Sue Ellen’s past will provide the key to her and her family’s salvation.
With his signature style of biting wit, hilarious characters, and deep emotion, Grant Ginder’s Honestly, We Meant Well is a funny, brilliant novel proving that with family, drama always comes with comedy.
About the Author
Grant Ginder's novels include This is How It Starts, Driver's Education, and The People We Hate at the Wedding. He received his MFA from NYU, where he teaches writing. He lives in Brooklyn.
“This rollicking book has it all: sex, lies, and scenery. Grant Ginder weaves a wonderful, engrossing multi-generational family story, with the Greek isles as a backdrop so beautiful that the reader will want to dive in.”
— Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers and Modern Lovers
"Ginder’s writing is funny and evocative; it skillfully touches on the passage of time in a family and in a marriage while effortlessly shifting points of view. Fans of clever, wistful stories will find much to love, and also appreciate the bonus classics tidbits."
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A hilarious and often moving offering from the author of The People We Hate at the Wedding."
— The New York Post
"Hilarious and pitch-perfect."
— Southern Living
"Smart, funny, and filled with delightfully effed-up characters, Honestly, We Meant Well shows us once again that Grant Ginder is a master of simultaneously loving and filleting people who mean well but, let's face it, aren't doing so well with the big questions of life."
— David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife
"Grant Ginder writes characters I want to be and characters I'm terrified I might already be. He deeply understands the agonizing and beautiful parts of being a person in relation to other people, and in the deftly woven Honestly, We Meant Well, Ginder highlights both the agony and the beauty of family. It's also hilarious."
— Emily V. Gordon, Academy Award nominated writer of The Big Sick
“A story so fun and funny that you're almost unprepared for the book's immense heart -- a Homeric journey by Ginder's signature flawed but deeply relatable characters to find home. You will devour this book.”
— Steven Rowley, Bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor
“Sitting down with Grant Ginder's new book is the reading equivalent of sitting down with your favorite cocktail and cheese plate on the vacation of your dreams and gobbling it all down with a heady pleasure.”
— Janice Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Piano Player and The Expatriates
“Grant Ginder is a master of the perfectly rendered detail. Reading his dazzling new novel, Honestly, We Meant Well, I was transported from my shabby, sagging couch to the sun-drenched islands of Greece where, like his flawed but relatable characters, I drank ouzo, danced with the locals, and discovered my best self. Funny, wise, and utterly charming—I’d follow Ginder anywhere. Honestly.”
— Jillian Medoff, bestselling author of This Could Hurt
"Reliably entertaining and intelligent, Ginder is an excellent tour guide for both the sunny Greek islands and the darker channels of the human heart."
"Deeply satisfying, laugh-out-loud novel about life's big questions and what the answers can sometimes
"Ginder (The People We Hate at the Wedding) completely redefines family dysfunction in this offbeat comedy of errors... Whimsical, diabolical, and distinctive."
— Library Journal