We All Want Impossible Things

For fans of Nora Ephron, a warm, funny and deeply moving story of friendship at its imperfect and radiant best

Catherine Newman author

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd

Published: 12th Jan '23



Available, normally delivered within 3-6 days.

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'Nora-Ephron-style wit...comforting, so funny, moving... one of my favourite books ever' MARIAN KEYES

'Dazzling, heart-wrenching, snorty-hilarious... An utter joy to read' RACHEL JOYCE

'An absolute masterpiece in characterisation... utterly beautiful.' JOANNA CANNON

'Tragically funny, with moments of clarity and wisdom, Newman writes loss and laughter in equally brilliant amounts.' BONNIE GARMUS


Who knows you better than your best friend? Who knows your secrets, your fears, your desires, your strange imperfect self? Edi and Ash have been best friends for over forty years. Since childhood they have seen each other through life's milestones: stealing vodka from their parents, the Madonna phase, REM concerts, unexpected wakes, marriages, infertility, children. As Ash notes, 'Edi's memory is like the back-up hard drive for mine.' So when Edi is diagnosed with cancer, Ash's world reshapes around the rhythms of Edi's care, from making watermelon ice cubes to music therapy; from snack smuggling to impromptu excursions into the frozen winter night. Because life is about squeezing the joy out of every moment, about building a powerhouse of memories, about learning when to hold on, and when to let go.

For fans of Nora Ephron and Sorrow & Bliss, We All Want Impossible Things is a deeply moving, jubilant celebration of life and friendship at its imperfect, radiant, and irreverent best.


'You'll stay up late devouring every word' KATHERINE HEINY

'One of the best novels on friendship I've ever read' AJ PEARCE

'I absolutely adored this...what a beautiful, emotional novel' JILL MANSELL

'Shot through with whip-smart humour and boundless compassion. It's one of the best debuts I've read in a long time.' HANNAH BECKERMAN

Rather a treat ... this novel is less about death than it is about life - the messy unpredictability, hideous unfairness and perplexity of it, as well as its one magnificent certainty: love. * THE SUNDAY TIMES *
Remarkable ... A whip-smart, funny, beautifully observed and exquisitely characterised novel about how even the deepest of losses can be accompanied by a joyous affirmation of life. * OBSERVER *
I adored this book. Jubilant, devastating, tender, heartbreaking, I found myself both in tears and 'snorty-laughing'. I know it will be one of those novels I return to time and time again, and recommend to everyone. There is so much love, funniness, honesty, courage, mess, bounce and surprise in this book, and not shred of it is mawkish. Loss might be the central theme but it is also the most robust and glorious affirmation of life. A masterclass on friendship, family love, memory, and the messiness of life and love and dying. Pure genius. * RACHEL JOYCE *
Imbued with love and humour ... this special book is in a class of its own. * EVENING STANDARD *
Breezy New York Nora-Ephron-style wit meets hospice memoir to create something profoundly beautiful...comforting, so funny, moving but never mawkish and packed with all kinds of love. It's one of my favourite books ever. * MARIAN KEYES *
Tragically funny, with moments of clarity and wisdom, Newman writes loss and laughter in equally brilliant amounts. * BONNIE GARMUS, author of LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY *
I have heard nothing but good things about [We All Want Impossible Things] and they were all quite right - it's so warm and funny and full of great observations ... it looks set for rip-roaring success, deservedly so! * CLARE CHAMBERS, author of SMALL PLEASURES *
Gloriously funny, utterly heartbreaking, and really just brilliant, We All Want Impossible Things is one of the best novels on friendship I've ever read. I loved it. * AJ PEARCE, author of DEAR MRS BIRD *
Smart and funny and devastating, We All Want Impossible Things has huge Sorrow and Bliss vibes and I didn't want it to end. * LAURA PEARSON *
Devastatingly humorous and humorously devastating, We All Want Impossible Things is an unbelievably brilliant and funny book about friendship, family, food, sex, and death. Catherine Newman serves up a masterclass in narrative - you'll stay up late devouring every word. * KATHERINE HEINY, author of EARLY MORNING RISER and STANDARD DEVIATION *
I absolutely adored this...what a beautiful, emotional novel it is, both heart-breaking and heart mending, with flawed, oh-so-human characters and events extolling the joy and pain of love, loss and life-long friendship. * JILL MANSELL *
Heart-breaking and heart-warming in equal measure, We All Want Impossible Things is shot through with whip-smart humour and boundless compassion. It's one of the best debuts I've read in a long time. * HANNAH BECKERMAN *
Funny and tender and life affirming and quite simply GLORIOUS....The way the friendship is depicted in this story is a masterpiece... To say I have been deeply moved by this book would be an understatement. My heart is broken after finishing it this morning but it is also singing. * SARAH TURNER *
A riotously funny and fiercely loyal love letter to female friendship. The story of Edi and Ash proves that a best friend is a gift from the gods.... I laughed while crying, and was left revived. Newman is a comic masterhand and a dazzling philosopher of the day-to-day. * AMITY GAIGE, author of SEA WIFE *
We All Want Impossible Things is one of those books I will be buying for everyone I know. A funny, moving, beautifully written book, I laughed and cried in equal measure. It is both a unique and wise take on friendship, love and loss that will stay with me for a very long time. * JENNIE GODFREY, author of THE LIST OF SUSPICIOUS THINGS *
The funniest, most joyful book about dying - and living - that I have ever read. * K J DELL'ANTONIA, author of the New York Times bestselling THE CHICKEN SISTERS *
For the last two days I have done nothing but read this book or think longingly about when I can return to reading this book. It's sad, and confronting, and comforting, and life-affirming all at the same time. Congrats, Catherine Newman, on an astonishing debut. * KATIE BISHOP, author of THE GIRLS OF SUMMER *
Catherine Newman sees the heartbreak and comedy of life with wisdom and unflinching compassion. The way she finds the extraordinary in the everyday is nothing short of poetry. She's a writer's writer-and a human's human. * KATHERINE CENTER , New York Times bestselling author *
An absolute heartbreaker of a novel. Catherine Newman's book... is a celebration of life. For anyone who has prepared a hole in their heart for loss, We All Want Impossible Things is a reminder that, in time, that hollowed hallowed space is also there for when the light and love pour back in. * LAURA ZIGMAN, author of SEPARATION ANXIETY *
How did Catherine Neman write a book about dying that is so luminously alive? Earthy, funny, and terrifyingly honest - this is a book with heart and guts and all the other goopy gravt we need to stay among the living. A radical delight. * RUFI THORPE *

ISBN: 9780857528988

Dimensions: 222mm x 144mm x 24mm

Weight: 346g

224 pages