Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything
by Kristin Bair
Publish Date November 10, 2020
by Alcove Press
About Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything
A quirky, nervous wreck of a New England mom is forced to face her many fears in this touching, irresistible novel from author Kristin Bair.
Agatha Arch’s life shatters when she discovers her husband in their backyard shed, in flagrante delicto, giving the local dog walker some heavy petting. Suddenly, Agatha finds herself face to face with everything that frightens her…and that’s a loooooong list.
Agatha keeps those she loves close. Everyone else, she keeps as far away as possible. So she’s a mystery to nearly everyone in her New England town. To her husband, she’s a saucy, no-B.S. writer. To her Facebook Moms group, she’s a provocateur. To her neighbor, she’s a standoffish pain in the butt. To her sons, she’s chocolate pudding with marshmallows. And to her shrink, she’s a bundle of nerves on the brink of a cataclysmic implosion.
Defying her abundant assortment of anxieties, Agatha dons her “spy pants”–a pair of khakis whose many pockets she crams with binoculars, fishing line, scissors, flashlight, a Leatherman Super Tool 300 EOD, candy, and other espionage essentials–and sets out to spy on her husband and the dog walker. Along the way, she finds another intriguing target to follow: a mysterious young woman who’s panhandling on the busiest street in town.
It’s all a bit much for timorous Agatha. But with the help of her Bear Grylls bobblehead, a trio of goats, and a dog named Balderdash, Agatha may just find the courage to build a better life.
“What do you do when you find your husband in the shed with the dog walker? Take ahatchet to the shed, put on your spy-pants, and see where it all will lead. Kristin Bair’s Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything is a fun, funny, and fresh story of resilience to the many betrayals of marriage and middle age.” —Laura Zigman, author of Separation Anxiety and Animal Husbandry
“If Bernadette joined the cast of Dead to Me and moved to New England, the result would be AGATHA ARCH IS AFRAID OF EVERYTHING. With whip smart writing and a quotable line on every page, Bair creates an unforgettable character to act on our most hilariously sinister thoughts. When times are tough, let Agatha Arch have any meltdown you’re repressing in this cathartic and unexpectedly poignant read.” -Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author
“A modern moms’-group morality tale with heart to spare, Agatha Arch Is Afraid of Everything is charming, witty, wry, and just wicked enough for any reader to love.” —Sophie Littlefield, national bestselling author of That’s What Frenemies Are For
“Oh, how I loved this book! Move over Eleanor Oliphant—Agatha Arch is here. And she’s the exact quirky, laugh-out-loud, feel-good heroine everyone in the world needs right now.” —Colleen Oakley, critically acclaimed author of You Were There Too
“If you were a fan of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, you’re going to love Agatha Arch. From the very first page, her voice is a breath of fresh air, fears and all: Even as she reels from life-altering betrayal, our unlikely heroine had me laughing, cheering her on, and hanging on her every word. A highly satisfying read, sure to be one of my favorites of the year.” —Jessica Strawser, bestselling author of Not That I Could Tell
“What if all of your worst fears came true—and through a hilarious if mortifying turn of events, that was actually the best thing that ever happened to you? Meet Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything, a singular and relatable story that’s ideal for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Kristin Bair is a fresh new voice in women’s fiction and I’m already excited to see what she does next.” —Ann Garvin, USA Today bestselling author of I Like You Just Fine When You’re Not Around
“Hilarious and heartbreaking, fresh and wise, and quirky as can be. The talented Kristin Bair introduces us to the touchingly neurotic Agatha Arch—a woman who loves too much and fears too much, and is on the hunt to discover her own singular power. If you love Bridget and Bernadette, please meet Agatha. I loved her, and you will, too.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of The Murder List
“How do you calm your never-ending fears and anxiety? For Bair’s delightful heroine Agatha, trying to get at the truth helps, even if it involves spying on the husband she fears might be philandering. But what she finds instead guides her into solving an even deeper mystery—her own self. “Bair’s gimlet eye and ready wit make this sprightly read as refreshing, necessary, and delicious as summer lemonade.”—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You and With or Without You
Agatha Arch is everything. She is not just afraid of everything, she just IS EVERYTHING. This book is amazeballs, and I totally love Agatha and everything about her.
So Agatha finds her husband in the shed out back having sex with the neighborhood dog walker. This is how the story begins. After Agatha demolishes the shed and gets sprayed by the resident skunk, we jump into her life like a busybody at an old persons convention. We learn that she is an author trying to write a thriller, she loves her two boys more than anything, we learn she is afraid of absolutely everything, (including beans), that she see’s a shrink for all her issues, and we learn that her husband has no desire to a come back to their marriage. When Agatha kinda goes off the deep end stalking her husband and trying to fix the mess her life has become, her neighborhood friends and chat group are generally supportive, until her actions start to get a little “crazy.” Will Agatha be able to pull herself and her life back together?
I absolutely adored this story. Agatha is hilarious and Bair’s writing flows like thoughts coming from my own mind. Our protagonist is a middle aged woman trying to find herself again when thrown into unexpected crisis, and though she gets a little cuckoo at times, I can’t blame her for half of her thoughts and feelings. I mean, who hasn’t wanted to spy on their husband with their new girlfriend? The story is a delight, and a fast read/listen, with laugh out loud moments and heartening life lessons. It is a pleasure watching Agatha find herself again and realize that she is a capable woman with so much to offer. This is hands down a 5 star read for me and I definitely highly recommend. One of those books you just fall in love with and remember forever.
I just would like to thank Kristin Bair, Suzanne Leopold of Suzy Approved Book Tours and Alcove Press for the gifted copy of this book for my unbiased and honest opinion for review.
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About the Author
Kristin Bair is the author of the novels The Art of Floating and Thirsty, as well as essays about China, bears, adoption, off-the-plot expats, and more. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including The Manifest-Station, The Gettysburg Review, Flyway: Journal of Writing and Environment, The Christian Science Monitor, Poets & Writers Magazine, Writer’s Digest, and other publications. As a writing instructor, her peripatetic nature has landed her in classrooms and conferences around the world. A native Pittsburgher, Kristin now lives north of Boston with her husband and two kiddos.
For more on Kristin visit, www.kristinbairokeeffe.com
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