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Publisher's Summary

From a bright new voice in contemporary fiction comes a hilarious and sophisticated comedy of manners about a delightfully eccentric family and the absurd happenings that befall them during one frenzied summer at their home in the Pacific Northwest. 

The inimitable - some might say incorrigible - Frank Widdicombe is suffering from a deep depression. Or so his wife, Carol, believes. But Carol is convinced that their new island home - Willowbrook Manor on the Puget Sound - is just the thing to cheer her husband up. And so begins a whirlwind summer as their house becomes the epicenter of multiple social dramas involving the family, their friends, and a host of new acquaintances. 

The Widdicombes’ son, Christopher, is mourning a heartbreak after a year abroad in Italy. Their personal assistant, Michelle, begins a romance with preppy screenwriter Bradford, who also happens to be Frank’s tennis partner. Meanwhile, a local named Marvelous Matthews is hired to create a garden at the manor - and is elated to find Gracie Sloane, bewitching self-help author, in residence as well. When this alternately bumbling and clever cast of characters comes together, Willowbrook transforms into a circus of uncovered secrets, preposterous misunderstandings, and irrepressible passions.

Written in a singularly witty and satirical style, Cheer Up, Mr. Widdicombe is perfect for fans of Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette?, Andrew Sean Greer's Less, and Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins. 

©2019 Evan James (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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