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Rules for Visiting

By: Jessica Francis Kane
Narrated by: Emily Rankin
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Publisher's summary

National Best Seller

Named One of the Best Books of the Year By: O Magazine * Good Housekeeping * Real Simple * Vulture * Chicago Tribune

Named One of the Best Books of the Summer By: The Today Show * Good Morning America * Wall Street Journal * San Francisco Chronicle * Southern Living

An INDIE NEXT LIST Pick

PickShortlisted for the 2020 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize

Long-listed for the 2020 Tournament of Books

"Fun, hilarious, and extremely touching." (NPR)

A beautifully observed and deeply funny novel of May Attaway, a university gardener who sets out on an odyssey to reconnect with four old friends over the course of a year.

At 40, May Attaway is more at home with plants than people. Over the years, she's turned inward, finding pleasure in language, her work as a gardener, and keeping her neighbors at arm's length while keenly observing them. But when she is unexpectedly granted some leave from her job, May is inspired to reconnect with four once close friends. She knows they will never have a proper reunion, so she goes, one-by-one, to each of them. A student of the classics, May considers her journey a female Odyssey. What might the world have had if, instead of waiting, Penelope had set out on an adventure of her own?

Rules for Visiting is a woman's exploration of friendship in the digital age. Deeply alert to the nobility and the ridiculousness of ordinary people, May savors the pleasures along the way - afternoon ice cream with a long-lost friend, surprise postcards from an unexpected crush, and a moving encounter with ancient beauty. Though she gets a taste of viral online fame, May chooses to bypass her friends' perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them in their messy analog ones. Ultimately, May learns that a best friend is someone who knows your story - and she inspires us all to master the art of visiting.

©2019 Jessica Francis Kane (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"When 40-year-old gardener May receives a surprise windfall of one month of vacation from the university where she works, she decides to visit four old friends, each one from different periods of her life. Through this initially simple and irresistible starting point, Jessica Francis Kane investigates the most universal mysteries of all." (Isaac Fitzgerald, Today)

“This beautiful novel tackles loneliness in the digital age and the lost art of visiting. Introvert May Attaway is granted some unexpected time off as a university gardener and is inspired to reconnect with four once-close friends. May chooses to bypass her friends' perfectly cultivated online lives to instead meet them IRL. Gives a whole new meaning to Instagram vs. reality.” (Good Morning America)

"This spirit-warming saga, an antidote to the uncivil, is a novel to be read again and again, whenever one needs a reminder to seize the day.... Treat yourself to Jessica Francis Kane's novel Rules for Visiting, an elixir in book form about a quest for friendship that could have been written by Jane Austen’s great great-great-granddaughter.” (O Magazine)

What listeners say about Rules for Visiting

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