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“The perfect book to read with your friends.” —Bustle
“The debut novel of the season, The Other's Gold reads like an origin story for the women of Big Little Lies.” —Elle
An insightful and sparkling novel that opens on a college campus and follows the friendship of four women across life-defining turning points
Assigned to the same suite during their freshman year at Quincy-Hawthorn College, Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret quickly become inseparable. The leafy green campus they move through together, the idyllic window seat they share in their suite, and the passion and ferocity that school and independence awakens in them ignites an all-encompassing love with one another. But they soon find their bonds--forged in joy, and fused by fear--must weather threats that originate from beyond the dark forests of their childhoods, and come at them from institutions, from one another, and ultimately, from within themselves.
The Other's Gold follows the four friends as each makes a terrible mistake, moving from their wild college days to their more feral days as new parents. With one part devoted to each mistake--the Accident, the Accusation, the Kiss, and the Bite--this complex yet compulsively readable debut interrogates the way that growing up forces our friendships to evolve as the women discover what they and their loved ones are capable of, and capable of forgiving. A joyful, big-hearted book that perfectly evokes the bittersweet experience of falling in love with friendship, the experiences of Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret are at once achingly familiar and yet shine with a brilliance and depth all their own.
About the Author
Elizabeth Ames is graduate of the University of Michigan MFA program, where she won the Hopwood Award. Her short stories have appeared in Ninth Letter and Third Coast. Born and raised in Wisconsin, she currently lives in a Harvard dormitory with her husband, two children, and a few hundred undergraduates. This is her first novel.
A Real Simple “Five Books That Won’t Disappoint” A Bustle “28 New Books Out In August 2019 To Add To Your End-Of-Summer Reading List” A Refinery29 “The Books Of 2019 We Can't Wait To Read (So Far)” A Mindbodygreen “5 Books You Won't Be Able To Put Down This August” A Hello Giggles “The 10 Best New Books to Read in August” A Get Literary “Favorite New August 2019 Fiction” An InStyle “14 Books to Read This August” A New York Post “Best Books of the Week” A Vogue “10 New Books to Read This Summer” An Elle “The 16 Best Books of 2019 (So Far)” A Marie Claire “The Best Fiction Books by Women This Year” A Good Housekeeping “50 Best Books of 2019 to Add to Your Reading List”
“Elizabeth Ames’s addictive debut, The Other’s Gold, is in some ways a conventional book, a campus novel, centered on the friendship of four women who fall into categories that seem a bit too predictable (the pretty one, the sporty one, etc.). But, just as collegiate first impressions can mutate and evolve, the book—along with its characters—grows increasingly complex, charting the way that the bonds forged in those heady moments when people are permitted to reinvent themselves can become the defining ties of adult life. . . . This novel will resonate with anyone who guards an inner circle forged in dorm rooms and dining halls, but it is also, in the end, more than that.” —Vogue
“[An] impressive debut. . . . Ames’s well-drawn characters and startling prose will linger with you.” —Real Simple
“Your new favorite campus novel . . . Reading The Other’s Gold tends to evoke a flood of feeling, from educational nostalgia to the reminder of how fleeting that period of time in which you are truly entrenched in the details of your friends’ lives really is. . . . At the brink of publication, and with literary heavyweights on her side, Elizabeth Ames is likely staring down a writing career that will be anything but a mistake.” —Entertainment Weekly
“[The Other’s Gold is] an ode to the turmoil and joy of female friendship, and the perfect book to read with your friends.” —Bustle
“The Other’s Gold is as beautifully written and epic in scope as A Little Life, but featuring women characters.” —Refinery29
“In this wonderful book about the complexities of female friendship, we meet Lainey, Ji Sun, Alice, and Margaret as they begin college. . . . By the end of the book, you’ll feel like this is your own group of friends—and you’ll be just as emotionally invested.” —Mindbodygreen
“The Other’s Gold is a beautiful, relatable, and bittersweet read that examines the strength of female friendships as they evolve.” —Hello Giggles
“This book is unexpectedly charming in its portrayal of four women who meet in college and hold on tightly to their friendship through adulthood. The structure is whip-smart: The book is told chronologically, but split into four parts, one for each woman's greatest mistake. And the characters grow increasingly three-dimensional—sometimes in shocking ways—with every chapter.” —Marie Claire
“Elizabeth Ames’s debut explores the changing bonds of four college friends as the mistakes they make later in life threaten to either deteriorate or strengthen their relationship.” —InStyle
“Four friends meet their freshman year of college, as so many of us do. But as they grow up and become parents, mistakes they make and circumstances that would tear apart their friendship begin to have serious consequences. Told in a series of four sections, this book feels both familiar and wonderfully unique.” —Good Housekeeping
“Four young women are assigned to the same suite at Quincy-Hawthorn College, forming fierce friendships that will follow them well into adulthood.” —New York Post
“Exploring the sensual, visceral and horror-filled experiences of being female while never abandoning the love Ames has for her characters, The Other's Gold is smart and provocative, satisfying and unforgettable.” —Shelf Awareness(starred review)
“A character-driven drama at its finest, each woman presents an engaging voice that you can't help but get invested in. The mistake each of them makes gets its own section, and honestly, until you learn everything that happened, it's hard to put this book down. If you're looking for an escape from your sweltering office job, or just need something that'll really spark conversation at your book club, grab yourself a copy this August!” —Get Literary
“A sharply-drawn portrait of a lifelong friendship, The Other’s Gold follows four young women bearing past traumas and navigating unimagined futures. With an uncanny eye for detail, Elizabeth Ames charts the complex, ever-shifting topography of this ‘chosen family’—and illuminates the ways our closest friends sustain us over the course of our lives.” —Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere
“Reading Elizabeth Ames’s The Other’s Gold is like sinking into a lucid dream, wonderful and unsettling in turns, surreally beautiful throughout. As we follow four friends through university and beyond, into the messy miasma of life, we feel as if we are growing into adulthood, into womanhood, with her characters. We feel every bruise, every elation, in part because Ames writes in language that is feverish and refined, with equal parts tenderness and ruthlessness. That her writing can do all this at once is incredible. Read her, and you will be richer for it.” —Jesmyn Ward, New York Times bestselling author of Sing, Unburied, Sing and Salvage the Bones
“One of the most immersive, unsettling books I've read in a long, long time. For hours after I finished it, the book felt realer to me than my own life did. There is something almost painful about how close we get to these characters: Ames observes them with a kind of ardent incision that at times feels like watching someone perform open-heart surgery, and at other times feels like having open-heart surgery performed on you. I was devastated by it. I loved it.” —Kristen Roupenian, bestselling author of You Know You Want This
“As first-year students at the prestigious Quincy-Hawthorn College, four suitemates are thrown together and enter into an intensely close friendship. . . . Written in a deft omniscient narration . . . the novel sharpens when the women come into independent adulthood, and though the structure emphasizes the sameness of their transgressions—the way all of us will cross lines for morally complicated reasons—the characters finally bloom into vibrant individuality.” —Kirkus