If, Then: A Novel

Kate Hope Day '00

In the quiet haven of Clearing, Oregon, four neighbors find their lives upended when they begin to see themselves in parallel realities. Ginny, a surgeon whose work often takes precedence over her family, has a baffling vision of a beautiful co-worker and begins to doubt the solidity of her marriage. When Ginny’s husband, Mark, a wildlife scientist, sees a vision of impending devastation, he grows increasingly paranoid, threatening his family’s safety. Mourning the death of her mother—and wondering why her father is coping with such ease—Samara witnesses an apparition of her mother that leaves her speculating about the secrets her parents may have kept from her. Cass, a brilliant scholar struggling with the demands of new motherhood, catches a glimpse of herself pregnant again, just as she’s on the brink of returning to career-defining project. At first benign, the visions grow increasingly disturbing, even frightening. When a natural disaster threatens town, it becomes obvious that the visions were not what they first seemed and that the town will never be the same. (Random House, 2018)

"If, Then explores how a glimpse into an alternate life can transform the most settled person," says Day, "how a vision of 'what could have been' drives four characters to become brilliant, daring, and even heroic."

If, Then received a starred Kirkus Review.

As part of the Bryn Mawr Reading Series, Kate Hope Day '00 came to campus in April for a reading and conversation with Penguin Random House editor Andrea Walker ’98 and agent Brettne Bloom of The Book Group.