reads from her novel Make It Stay (The Permanent Press, $26).
In the tree-nestled Northern California town of Mira Flores, writer Rachel and her Scottish husband Neil prepare dinner for a familiar "crew" of guests-- among them Neil's best friend, the burly, handomse Mike Spender, an irrepressible hedonist--and Mike's wife, the troubling Tilda Krall, a hard-bitten figure who carries her dark unknowability like an accusation.
Mike and Tilda have produced an enchanting daughter, Addie--who will also appear, unexpectedly, that night. As they ready the meal, Rae begs Neil to retell her the strange, twisted story of the Spenders--to include Mike's secret life, and what happened once Tilda learned of it. Neil and Rae cannot guess how the shock waves from that story will threaten to destroy their own marriage--after a mysterious catastrophe propels all five individuals into uncharted realities.
Recounting three love stories, Make It Stay explores the vision of an era--and how perception expands, as mortal limits draw near.
Joan Frank is the author of four prior books of fiction. She is a MacDowell Colony Fellow, Pushcart Prize nominee, winner of numerous prizes, awards and foundation grants.She has taught Creative Writing at San Francisco State and lives in Northern California.