"Mona Awad is a genius. I thought her first novel Bunny was a masterpiece, but All's Well has cemented her status as one of my favorite current writers. She's brilliant at crafting unreliable narrators to the point where half the fun of reading her books is trying to puzzle out the story taking place underneath the narrative. In Miranda's case, the fission between how she sees herself and how the reader sees her is so awkward and cringe-inducing that it becomes painful to endure. At the same time, her struggles endear you to her: she's a fallen actress stuck in an underperforming college theater program, dependent on a cocktail of opioids and alcohol to help her cope with the chronic pain of a career-ending stage accident. As the chasm between her once-ideal life and her current pitiable existence deepens, she longs to reprise the role that made her feel like a star. But as the boundaries between reality and theater start to break down, Miranda finds herself living modern versions of All's Well That Ends Well and Macbeth - complete with witches, magic, and tragic Shakespearean redemption."
From the author of Bunny, which Margaret Atwood hails as “genius,” comes a “wild, and exhilarating” (Lauren Groff) novel about a theater professor who is convinced staging Shakespeare’s most maligned play will remedy all that ails her—but at what cost?
Miranda Fitch’s life is a waking nightmare. The accident that ended her burgeoning acting career left her with excruciating chronic back pain, a failed marriage, and a deepening dependence on painkillers. And now, she’s on the verge of losing her job as a college theater director. Determined to put on Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, the play that promised and cost her everything, she faces a mutinous cast hellbent on staging Macbeth instead. Miranda sees her chance at redemption slip through her fingers.
That’s when she meets three strange benefactors who have an eerie knowledge of Miranda’s past and a tantalizing promise for her future: one where the show goes on, her rebellious students get what’s coming to them, and the invisible doubted pain that’s kept her from the spotlight is made known.
With prose Margaret Atwood has described as “no punches pulled, no hilarities dodged…genius,” Mona Awad has concocted her most potent, subversive novel yet. All’s Well is a “fabulous novel” (Mary Karr) about a woman at her breaking point and a formidable, piercingly funny indictment of our collective refusal to witness and believe female pain.