About the Book

The Art of Adapting

Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
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When change is the only constant, the first step towards happiness is mastering the art of adapting

Seven months after her husband leaves her, Lana is still reeling. Being single means she is in charge of every part of her life, but with two teenage children and a house she can barely afford on her solo salary, her new life is a balancing act made even more complicated when her brother Matt moves in.

Matt has Asperger’s syndrome, which makes social situations difficult for him and flexibility and change nearly impossible. Adding Matt’s regimented routine to her already disrupted household seems like the last thing Lana needs, but her brother’s unique attention to detail makes him an invaluable addition to the family—he sees things differently.

Matt sees his nephew Byron struggling to reconcile the part of him that is vying for popularity with the artistic side his father always stifled. He sees Abby, formerly an Honors student and dedicated athlete, wasting away as she skips lunch to run laps. And most of all he sees Lana, his once vibrant and independent sister, resigned to her role of mother and fulfilling everyone’s needs except her own.

After mistakes and missteps, Lana and her family come to discover that knowing where you’ve come from is essential to figuring out who you are and who you can grow to be.

A complex, smart, and genuinely moving debut novel, The Art of Adapting celebrates the small moments and small changes that add up to one bountiful life.

Reading Group Guide

Praise for The Art of Adapting:

“Dunn’s debut novel is a lively, engaging, and heartfelt tale of learning how to cope with change. Lana is separated from her husband, and trying to raise two teenagers. Her son Byron navigates between the jocks and the rebels, nursing a crush for his best friend’s college-age sister, and getting interested in the sport of parkour. Her daughter Abby is descending into an eating disorder, while trying to keep up her high grades and her status as an honor student. The household is further complicated when Lana’s brother Matt moves in—a challenge, since he has Asperger’s syndrome, and has a unique way of ordering the world. Told from the alternating points of view of Lana, Matt, Byron, and Abby, Dunn is able to fully draw the reader into each individual character’s skin. Through the four characters’ conflicts, Dunn draws the reader’s sympathy: Matt, in particular, is a memorable narrator. This is a thoughtful and touching novel, and will leave readers eager for the author’s next work.”

Publishers Weekly
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