The Good War

Regal House Titles
$21.95 - $31.95
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Expected release date is 28th Jan 2025

In 1948, Louise Galle, a chemist and former Rosie-the-Riveter, is pursued by a wounded veteran who, with her deceased husband, was a prisoner in the Philippines during World War II. In New York City in 1964, Louise’s daughter Charlotte falls for the butch next door and receives an undeniable call to make art. The Good War unfolds over the course of watershed summers in the lives of two very different women who share a desire to make it new even as they reckon with painful truths. Atmospheric, lyrical, and psychologically astute, The Good War is for anyone who knows that there is always more to the story of what America was and is.

Praise for The Good War

“Elizabeth Costello’s The Good War is the kind of once-a-decade work of fiction that compels you to reconsider everything you thought you knew about America. It’s beautifully written, mischievous and crushing. The most self-assured debut novel I’ve encountered in many a year.”

—John Wray, author of Gone to the Wolves

The Good War is an impassioned, stylishly written story of two women—a mother and a daughter—set in mid-twentieth-century America. Elizabeth Costello’s narrative mixes elements of literary expressionism à la Thomas Wolfe, film noir, and psychedelia, conducting the reader through a nightscape of thwarted or troublingly realized desires. Along the way, Costello offers a darkly brilliant study of women’s autonomy and agency in a male-dominated and war-damaged world. The hand of a poet is visible in the composition of this stunning debut novel.”

—Andrew Joron, author of O0

“To read Costello is to understand that our mothers and grandmothers lived as urgently, passionately, and desperately as we do today. She knows her achingly human characters from their grandest dreams to their most fleeting gestures and gets it all on the page with thrilling artistry. You’ll think of Highsmith, Didion, Atwood, Jean Stafford, Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters, but Costello is a literary original. Read this novel with highlighter in hand—you’ll surely be marking passages to savor again later—and join me in blasting it from the rooftops: Sentence by sentence, Elizabeth Costello is as good as anyone writing fiction today.”

—K.M. Soehnlein, author of Army of Lovers

“Costello has created a captivating story with richly dimensional female characters who are intelligent, lusty, and burning down all of the rules. We need more female characters like these, who are not easily pigeonholed. A rare novel that is surprising and haunting, all wrapped up in gorgeous prose.”

—Nina Schuyler, author of In This Ravishing World and Afterword

“In The Good War, Costello captures post-war America with emotional depth and storytelling verve. Atmospheric and moving, the novel lays bare the inheritances of generational experience—the intensely intimate personal choices in love and also the familial wreckage of war—with characters who aim for forgiveness and understanding. Best of all, the two women at the center of this novel emerge, with subtle and surprising agency, at the helms of their own lives.”

—Lucy Jane Bledsoe, author of Tell the Rest and A Thin Bright Line