REVIEWS of Rules for Visiting
“Good Morning America”
“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.”
“The Today Show”
“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.”
O, The Oprah Magazine
“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.”
“Kane’s understated meditation on loneliness in the digital age [is] just the right kind of narrative, an antidote for our distracted days.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Crackles with wit.”
“Fun, hilarious, and extremely touching”
The Chicago Tribune
The San Francisco Chronicle
“At 40, May Attaway, the protagonist, finds herself alone and feeling profoundly disconnected from her life and from herself. When she receives an unexpected gift of time off, she seizes the opportunity to visit four old friends. May is smart, funny and more than a little prickly. Readers will love her and find her story both moving and reassuring.”
The Wall Street Journal
“A witty, sometimes melancholy and altogether lovely meditation on love, loss, friendship—and botany.”
An interview with Kirk Walsh about Rules for Visiting.
A profile of me and the writing of Rules for Visiting by Brian Gresko.
The National Book Review
“In her smart, insightful new novel, Kane subverts the ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ mantra with a bit of E. M. Forster — ‘Only connect.'”
Rules for Visiting “is a 21st-century novel for those with old-fashioned sensibilities.”
Library Journal, STARRED REVEW
“Kane’s delightful tale celebrates friendship, family, love, joy in the ordinary, finding peace, and connecting with those around us. Highly recommended for fans of humorous, touching stories about friendship and self-discovery.”
Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“In the age of Facebook, the true nature of friendship can seem muddled . . . [May] voices the doubts and dreams of any woman who has questioned what it means to be a true friend. Rich in subtexts and lush imagery, Kane’s novel is a sure bet for lively book discussions”
Rules for Visiting is an Indie Next pick for May!
Here is the citation: “A skillful writer can show how things that seem unrelated are actually intertwined. In this way, Kane quietly reminds us that friendships and plants may be deeply rooted but need tending to bloom completely, that words matter, that going back to their roots may change how we think about what we say, and that a quiet life can be a full one. This gentle book grows on you (the puns just keep coming), but it is a refreshing change from the stresses of our digital age or the angst of so many recent books about contemporary life. Entertaining and erudite, I highly recommend this book.” —Ann Carlson, Waterfront Books, Georgetown, SC. Thanks to all the booksellers around the country who nominated the book. I’m thrilled. I love independent bookstores very much.
Southern Living Magazine
Southern Living Magazine put Rules for Visiting on its list of best books for Spring 2019, calling it “irresistable.”
“In Kane’s impeccably written and surprisingly moving second novel…May’s journey is lovely and deeply affecting.”
A good review from Kirkus is always a relief. On Rules for Visiting: “Engagingly cleareyed prose about a winningly eccentric narrator in love with trees and literature.”
I wrote about what struck me most during the final Kavanaugh hearing.
A new short story called “Dirt Church” will appear in the Winter 2019 issue of Zyzzyva.
I sold my second novel, Rules for Visiting, to Penguin Press in the US and Granta Books in the UK. It will be published in May 2019 (and in the UK shortly thereafter). It’s the story of May Attaway, who, at 40, worries if “friends are the family we choose,” as the adage goes, she hasn’t paid enough attention. She embarks on an odyssey of sorts, visiting each of her old friends, one by one, over the course of a year. Trees are important to the story (for reasons I can’t reveal) and the extraordinary writer/artist Edward Carey has done tree drawings to illustrate the book. I am so excited to share these when I can. More soon about the novel as things start to happen. Cheers!