Using small-town life as a springboard to explore the loftiest of ideas, Haven Kimmel’s irresistibly smart and generous
first novel is at once a romance and a haunting meditation on grief and faith. Langston Braverman returns to Haddington,
Indiana (pop. 3,062) after walking out on an academic career that has equipped her for little but lording it over other
people. Amos Townsend is trying to minister to a congregation that would prefer simple affirmations to his esoteric
brand of theology.
What draws these difficult—if not impossible—people together are two wounded little girls who call themselves Immaculata
and Epiphany. They are the daughters of Langston’s childhood friend and the witnesses to her murder. And their need for
love is so urgent that neither Langston nor Amos can resist it, though they do their best to resist each other. Deftly
walking the tightrope between tragedy and comedy, The Solace of Leaving Early is a joyous story about finding one’s
better self through accepting the shortcomings of others.