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Speak Now


A literary thriller from the daughter of James Jones.

$14.95 $11.21

What people are saying…

“Perceptive, gritty, and compelling, this is an absorbing book that dives headfirst into issues facing recovering addicts . . . Beautifully written and richly detailed, it is highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“Although we’ve gotten used to second-generation actors equaling or surpassing the accomplishments of their parents, the same hasn’t happened with second-generation novelist. Nonetheless there are a few . . . and added to their small number ought to be Kaylie Jones.”
New York Times

“Jones’s latest and best novel is impressively researched, very nuanced, and has no false notes.”
East Hampton Star

“Kaylie Jones’s Speak Now is one of those rare novels that fuses the craft of the narrative with the art of characterization: a page-turner cast with complex characters including the addicted, the haunted, and the doers of good deeds. Ms. Jones is to be commended, too, for her vivid portrayals of the experiences and memories of Holocaust victims, who contribute touching and ironic commentary to this tale of contemporary lives or frequently self-inflicted pain.”
—Sidney Offit, author of Memoir of the Bookie’s Son

“Kaylie Jones, one of America’s finest young novelists, has written a rich and splendid book.”
—Roger Rosenblatt

Speak Now is written with extraordinary skill, and is compulsively readable . . . an excellent novel.”
Southampton Press

“Bull’s-eye writing.”
Capital Times

“Suspenseful . . . Jones writes with compassionate intensity and terse conviction.”
New York Press


Clara Sverdlow has been stalked by Niko Kamenski, her high school lover, for almost twenty years. A recently sober alcoholic in her mid-thirties, she has found happiness in a tenuous new marriage to Mark. Yet the past lurks over them like a great shadow, always encroaching on their happiness. Clara’s father, Viktor, was a Russian political prisoner in Auschwitz. He was involved in the camp underground and helped “organize” much-needed goods to help the prisoners. But he also worked on the train ramps and helped to guide thousands of innocent victims to the gas chambers. The guilt and horror Viktor still carries with him are part of his daughter Clara’s natural composition, something she doesn’t understand and yet accepts as one would a congenital illness. It shapes her every action, and is at the root of her every phobia. Mark has his own demons—a brother dead from a drug overdose, and connections to his hometown heavies, which he can’t seem to break free of.

Yet together they have found a fragile grace. With a miracle baby, they are trying to forget the past and learn to live normally in the world. But Clara’s stalker Niko Kamenski secretly insinuates himself upon their life, with disastrous consequences. Clara and Mark’s only hope is to address the past and confront the present situation before it’s too late.


Book Details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Published: 11/1/05
  • IBSN: 9781888451870
  • e-IBSN: 9781617752261
  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • IBSN: 9781888451535


KAYLIE JONES has published seven books, including a memoir, Lies My Mother Never Told Me, and her most recent novel, The Anger Meridian. Her novel A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries was adapted as a Merchant Ivory film in 1998. Jones has been teaching for more than twenty-five years, and is a faculty member in the Stony Brook Southampton MFA in Creative Writing & Literature program and in Wilkes University’s MFA in Creative Writing program. She is the author of Speak Now and the editor of Long Island Noir. Her newest endeavor is her publishing imprint with Akashic Books, Kaylie Jones Books.

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