They're Going to Love You

A Novel

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Pub Date 15 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 29 Nov 2022

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Description

A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH • A gripping novel set in the world of professional ballet, New York City during the AIDS crisis, and present-day Los Angeles. • "Beautiful...Howrey, a former dancer with the Joffrey Ballet, proves herself a talented choreographer in her own right...[A] finger-trap puzzle of a plot."—New York Times Book Review

They’re Going to Love You is my idea of a perfect book. It is about art, life, death, love, and family and it is beautifully and sharply written. I cried several times while reading it, and was sorry to let it go when I was done. I cannot recommend it enough.” —Jami Attenberg,  New York Times bestselling author of The Middlesteins and All This Could Be Yours


Throughout her childhood, Carlisle Martin got to see her father, Robert, for only a few precious weeks a year when she visited the brownstone apartment in Greenwich Village he shared with his partner, James. Brilliant but troubled, James gave Carlisle an education in all that he held dear in life—literature, music, and, most of all, dance.

Seduced by the heady pull of mentorship and hoping to follow in the footsteps of her mother—a former Balanchine ballerina—Carlisle’s aspiration to become a professional ballet dancer bloomed. But above all else, she longed to be asked to stay at the house on Bank Street, to be a part of Robert and James’s sophisticated world, even as the AIDS crisis brings devastation to their community. Instead, a passionate love affair created a rift between the family, with shattering consequences that reverberated for decades to come. Nineteen years later, when Carlisle receives a phone call that unravels the events of that fateful summer, she sees with new eyes how her younger self has informed the woman she’s become. 

They’re Going to Love You is a gripping and gorgeously written novel of heartbreaking intensity. With psychological precision and a masterfully revealed secret at its heart, it asks what it takes to be an artist in America, and the price of forgiveness, of ambition, and of love.
A NEW YORK TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE MONTH • A gripping novel set in the world of professional ballet, New York City during the AIDS crisis, and present-day Los Angeles. • "Beautiful...Howrey, a former...

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ISBN 9780385548779
PRICE $28.00 (USD)
PAGES 288

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Average rating from 85 members


Featured Reviews

A lovely book about the true cost of art and being an artist. Like a ballet this book can be beautiful, immersive and captivating. A remarkable book.

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I feel like the word "tender" is thrown around a lot in book reviews these days, but Meg Howrey’s They're Going to Love You is truly deserving of the word — from page one, the story rolls over and shows you its softest parts. It's an absolutely gorgeous, touching piece of fiction about so many things (ambition, betrayal, art, love) but what struck me most was Howrey’s rendering of the bonds between children and parents (or the lack thereof) and how they shape us — can we ever recover from our parents’ mistakes? Can we ever outgrow, or outrun, them?

The novel introduces us to young Carlisle Martin, who aspires to one day be a professional ballerina as celebrated as her mother, Isabel, whose parenting style is chilly on a good day. But for a few precious weeks a year, Carlisle is able to escape her home with Isabel in Ohio to visit her father, Robert, in his chic, eclectic home on Bank Street in NYC’s Greenwich Village, where he lives with his longtime partner James. In Carlisle’s eyes, Robert and James live a sophisticated life filled with literature, friends, fancy dinner parties, classical music, and most importantly, dance. She longs to stay with them on Bank Street forever.

But as the AIDS crisis ravages James and Robert’s community in New York, and Carlisle comes of age at a boarding school in New England and reckons with dashed expectations and broken dreams, an unexpected love affair drives a permanent wedge between Robert and Carlisle. Or, if not permanent, a nineteen-year rift, that Carlisle only begins to consider seriously mending once she’s in her 40s and discovers that her father is near the end of his life due to a terminal illness.

They’re Going to Love You asks so many questions: what does it take to be an artist in America? What is the price of forgiveness? Can you ever reclaim a lost dream? Do we ever stop needing our parents to, well, parent us? Though it answers many of them, in its own way, the book still gives its ideas plenty of room to breathe. You’re allowed to come to your own conclusions about the Big Ideas™️ discussed just as Carlisle does, even if you disagree.

I can’t say enough good things about the writing. I’ve never had the pleasure of reading Meg Howrey before, but I finished this with no shortage of awe over her skill with language — not a single word is wasted while traversing the ups and downs of Carlisle’s complex relationships with Robert, James, and Isabel. But, though it’s not over-written, it has heft. This isn’t a light book, but one that flooded me with melancholy. I couldn’t help but weep as I took in the final, stunning passage:

"Listen to this silence, where all movement is contained.

Watch this dance, even if it’s still.

Here it comes. Here it is.

A rising, an exaltation.

All this wreckage. All this gorgeous, unrepeatable wreckage. Life."

This book gutted me. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Thank you to @netgalley & @doubledaybooks for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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My sincere gratitude to Net Galley and Doubleday Books for the opportunity to read Meg Howrey's They're Going to Love You. I loved every single thing about this novel.

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Meg Howry’s THEYRE GOING TO LOVE YOU slayed me. Utterly gutted me, emptied me out, and filled me back up again. It has been years since a book has so touched my heart. It is rare, indeed, for a work of fiction to evoke that surreal feeling of knowing, with every turn of the page, you are reading literary greatness. Yet, this is exactly what Howrey has achieved in her epic tale of family, love, and the deeply complex symphony of life.
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Set, in part, in NYC during the 80s AIDS crisis, with ballet as the most imposing character, it is a gripping story of love and loss, of beauty and the harrowing ugliness of rejection - when one simply wants to be loved, to belong, to be someone’s person, in all that entails. THEY'RE GOING TO LOVE YOU - indeed.
A dream, a hope, a wish, a life’s work. To be loved, To be accepted. Family.
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Protagonist Carlisle wanted nothing more than to orbit the planetary brilliance of her father, Robert, and his partner, James, in their 80s NYC brownstone on Bank Street. Their world was one of ballet, always ballet, literature, theatre, the arts...and the crushing devastation of AIDS. The brilliance and the sorrows, life as art.
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Carlisle made a colossal mistake in her early 20s, and her dad rejected her outright for the betrayal - until she visited him at his deathbed, 19 years later. Years lost. It’s just so appalling when elders reject their children - for any reason at all. It’s even more appalling after one devotes so many years of her life ardently trying to earn their love and respect. My heart breaks over the loss of time, of love, of family. Yet, Carlisle found her dance, and her life, on her own terms, and triumphed, brilliantly -an absolute joy.
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Every single page is poetry. Yet, it is never overdone or flowery. It is tidy, organized, and structured, as one would expect from a ballet. Containment is a key word woven throughout the pages - They’re Going to Love You is just that: perfection, contained. My highest recommendation.
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My sincere gratitude to Net Galley, Doubleday Books, and Meg Howry for the opportunity to read this brilliant book in exchange for my honest and wholly independent opinion.

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One word: wow. Beautiful prose is woven into a coming-of-age story about making peace with your family (and yourself).

Carlisle gets a phone call about her estranged father that sends her hurdling back in time, remembering her visits with him in the 80s. NYC. His partner James. The AIDS crisis. Ballet. Her fractured family. Her burgeoning dreams.

It’s a tangled mess of feelings and family and relationships. Of growing up and growing away from the people you love, of discovering how to be yourself while coming to terms with the parts of yourself (and your loved ones) that you’ll never really know.

I especially enjoyed the relationship all the characters had with their art; and the question of loyalty (to your art, to your family, to yourself). Is selflessness actually selfish?

So many big questions are asked, but it’s the people and relationships that are the stars of the story. They are fully formed, imperfectly perfect, and utterly heartbreaking.

Howry’s writing is musical, her phrasing like a dance between words and images.

I loved everything about these people, and this story.

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Oh what a gorgeous, tender, rewarding novel! You don't have to know anything--or frankly, to care anything--about ballet to be instantly ensorceled by the opening pages of Meg Howrey's THEY'RE GOING TO LOVE YOU. I was unfamiliar was Ms Howrey's work, but loved this novel so much she's become a must-read on my list. Highly recommended.

Many thanks to Doubleday and to Netgalley for the opportunity and pleasure of an early read.

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I wasn't familiar with Meg Howrey's work until I came across her galley on social media, along with a glowing review. And I'm so glad I did. This book will stay with me for a long, long time. It's tender and heartbreaking and the prose is sharp and luminous and I didn't want the book to ever end. The novel tells the story of a family of dancers, and the one mistake that, in essence, tears the family apart. I'll admit I didn't know where the novel was heading until about halfway through, but this structure was easily a strength of the novel. What a gorgeous feat.

Thanks to the publisher for the e-galley!

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Described as "a magnetic tale of betrayal, art, and ambition, set in the world of professional ballet, New York City during the AIDS crisis, and present-day Los Angeles" this is a beautiful story. Almost as beautiful as the cover art! Wow. Beautiful characters and a compelling story.

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I could not put this lovely novel down. The story truly envelopes you, and the author masterfully slowly provides details into how this family unraveled. The novel does an incredible job in clearly articulating and flushing out this characters. Now I must go read everything she’s written,

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When I read the synopsis for this book, I obviously had to request it being a former professional dancer and teacher. This threw me right back into my past. My heart ached and felt the grief in full force of being out of the dance world, but brought back such full of life memories. Oh to be enraptured in the arts. Living breathing the arts. I was pulled back to the hours of training, teaching and especially choreographing. The feel of the floor beneath me, the music, the mapping everything out. Howrey writes these characters with so much vibrancy that I can almost feel them. It feels like you are there right with Carlisle. My heart was breaking for each character in all their complexities. I wept and was inspired throughout this entire book. Howrey wrote grief in how complicated it can be with family dynamics. How grief can catch you before the loss, playing scenarios out for early protection, the complex relationships when someone is dying and the pressure of reconciliation, the forgiveness for them. The dying get to be free as the living add more clouds.

We discussed AIDS in our household from a young age with me being born in the early 80s. Howrey wrote in such a delicate way and how it felt to try and understand this as a child. When one of my mother’s best friends (since high school) and his partner would come over they would talk about the past and those they’ve lost. They also traveled a lot and would come to visit, bringing us little gifts from around the world. Telling us stories from the past and all the new memories they were making. I was enamored with them both. This story made me think of them both.

I believe we carry every age in us as we grow older. They don’t disappear, our younger selves are still with us. I carry all of mine, including the dreamer, the dreamer who told stories through dance. Howrey wrote the perfect story to capture just that. There are some truths that cannot be danced and then there are those that can set you free. I am thinking of all the dancers I’ve taught. They are all my firebirds. This book felt like choreography to me. Such beautifully raw choreography. Thank Meg Howrey for this story that will stay with me in my dancer heart.

Thank you to Doubleday for this eARC via Netgalley.

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Deeply, deeply complex, beautiful, haunting. So perfectly constructed and coordinated to heighten the drama inherent to life, flowing like a dance: family leads to love and to betrayal and anger and to reunion. Carlisle is as real and deeply felt a character as any, from when she is a child living is Carlisle's Room and getting excited over window shutters, to when she is a teenager who adores the maturity her conversations with James afford her, to when she is a young adult full of desire - for love, to make something of herself, to keep her parents and James content - and full of anger, to when she is approaching middle age, unsure of how satisfied she is with her life's path, faced with regret and the need to forgive and be forgiven, overflowing with anxiety and distractions. Each beat of her life and what happens around her is wonderfully done. Things culminate, fall out of her hands, time passes in a way that is utterly irreversible, and the end is speckled only with reminders of what could have been, of how silly it was to let that time pass. It's a relatively short novel, but there's so much in there - so much complexity, and so much done right.

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This was so beautifully written and felt like something so personal. I read this book and felt like I was in a haze. I couldn’t think about anything else.

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What an absolutely beautiful novel. It centers on Carlisle, an aspiring ballet dancer trying to be a part of her gay father's world in NYC at the height of the AIDS epidemic, and then where she is 19 years later. Gorgeously written and evocative.

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What a deliciously written novel. Everything about it was perfect for me. From the character development to the overall theme, I don’t think there has been a book lately that has checked off all the boxes for me.

Written from Carlisle’s POV, we experience her life engulfed in ballet from a young age to the present day. She was a character that I quickly fell in love with and connected with from the first chapter. Mired in family drama, the devastation of AIDS in her gay father's community, and the quest to find her true calling in the dance world, I wanted nothing but the best for her and her family throughout.

Switching back and forth from her childhood to the present day, we witness the growing problems that provided such heartbreak and loss that quickly tore her family apart. Will they be able to find forgiveness in each other before it’s too late? Or have their relationships taken a final bow?

The publisher provided ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Meg Howrey’s writing is almost unspeakably beautiful through this entire novel. Let me first say that I haven’t been so emotionally-moved by a story since “Call Me By Your Name,” and that’s certainly not to compare the two stories themselves, but the emotional undertone to them. The undeniable, complex humanness of Carlisle, Robert, James, and Isabel in “They’re Going to Love You” is a masterful feat, and really what drives this story. I was utterly transported and transfixed by Howrey’s descriptions of everything—ballet choreography, movement, music, the Bank Street apartment, Carlisle’s emotional responses, the dreadful air of NYC during the height of the AIDS crisis. This, in short, is a masterpiece of a read. Coming in at under 300 pages, it’s a quick one, too. Surely to be in my top 5 books of 2022, I will think about this one for a long time.

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Knowing very little about professional ballet, the details about choreography and the personal relationships were very interesting. The relationship break that was hinted at and finally revealed near the end was worth the wait and nicely handled. The main character Carlisle was interesting, thoughtful, well spoken and so real. I loved this book and would recommend it.

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Gorgeously written, with complex characters, living their lives, to the best of their ability. Misunderstandings abound and the intricacies that perpetrated those misunderstandings, are heart rendering. To forgive is divine. I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to read this advanced reader copy and to review it. This book will resound with you for a long time, @netgalley @They’reGoingToLoveYou.

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I received an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

I didn’t like any of these people but I love ballet and I loved this story. Incredible world-building. Sensorially you really do feel like you are downtown in the AIDS era when artists still lived in Manhattan and St Vincent’s wasn’t converted to condos- Every sense is put into that milieu, you can even smell the streets. Easy five.

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