"Fans of The Nix waited seven years for Nathan Hill's second book, and just a few pages into Wellness it’s clear why. Both the depth of research and the literary artistry that went into crafting this novel are striking and clear from the start, and Hill maintains that intensity throughout. Jack and Elizabeth are shifting into middle age as a happy family, celebrating decades of successful marriage. Yet with age also comes self-reflection, and the more time they spend reevaluating the narrative of their lives, the more tenuous their foundations become. At a time when self-care is emphasized but empathy and intimacy are increasingly devalued, the two must search within their pasts to see how much of their stories are real, and whether true, honest love can grow out of the fictions that we tell ourselves."
The New York Times best-selling author of The Nix is back with a poignant and witty novel about marriage, the often baffling pursuit of health and happiness, and the stories that bind us together. From the gritty '90s Chicago art scene to a suburbia of detox diets and home-renovation hysteria, Wellness reimagines the love story with a healthy dose of insight, irony, and heart.
“A hilarious and moving exploration of a modern marriage that astounds in its breadth and intimacy.” —Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half
When Jack and Elizabeth meet as college students in the '90s, the two quickly join forces and hold on tight, each eager to claim a place in Chicago’s thriving underground art scene with an appreciative kindred spirit. Fast-forward twenty years to married life, and alongside the challenges of parenting, they encounter cults disguised as mindfulness support groups, polyamorous would-be suitors, Facebook wars, and something called Love Potion Number Nine.
For the first time, Jack and Elizabeth struggle to recognize each other, and the no-longer-youthful dreamers are forced to face their demons, from unfulfilled career ambitions to painful childhood memories of their own dysfunctional families. In the process, Jack and Elizabeth must undertake separate, personal excavations, or risk losing the best thing in their lives: each other.