Greta & Valdin

A Novel

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Pub Date 06 Feb 2024 | Archive Date 06 Feb 2024
Avid Reader Press, Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster


A New York Times Editors’ Choice

For fans of Schitt’s Creek and Sally Rooney’s Normal People, an irresistible and bighearted international bestseller that follows a brother and sister as they navigate queerness, multiracial identity, and the dramas big and small of their entangled, unconventional family, all while flailing their way to love.

It’s been a year since his ex-boyfriend dumped him and moved from Auckland to Buenos Aires, and Valdin is doing fine. He has a good flat with his sister Greta, a good career where his colleagues only occasionally remind him that he is the sole Maaori person in the office, and a good friend who he only sleeps with when he’s sad. But when work sends him to Argentina and he’s thrown back in his former lover’s orbit, Valdin is forced to confront the feelings he’s been trying to ignore—and the future he wants.

Greta is not letting her painfully unrequited crush (or her possibly pointless master’s thesis, or her pathetic academic salary...) get her down. She would love to focus on the charming fellow grad student she meets at a party and her friendships with a circle of similarly floundering twenty-somethings, but her chaotic family life won’t stop intruding: her mother is keeping secrets, her nephew is having a gay crisis, and her brother has suddenly flown to South America without a word.

Sharp, hilarious, and with an undeniable emotional momentum that builds to an exuberant conclusion, Greta & Valdin careens us through the siblings’ misadventures and the messy dramas of their sprawling, eccentric Maaori-Russian-Catalonian family. An acclaimed bestseller in New Zealand, Greta & Valdin is fresh, joyful, and alive with the possibility of love in its many mystifying forms.
A New York Times Editors’ Choice

For fans of Schitt’s Creek and Sally Rooney’s Normal People, an irresistible and bighearted international bestseller that follows a brother and sister as they...

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ISBN 9781668028049
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Average rating from 55 members

Featured Reviews

I was really looking forward to this one but it absolutely exceeded my expectations. I'm obsessed.

This book follows an absolutely hilarious family as they try to get their lives together, both professional and personal, and we see more and more of their pasts revealed as the book goes on. The thing that stood out to me about this book was the complete joy of being queer, Maori, and Russian (and Jewish!). There is so much queerness and it is so normal in this family, literally everyone is queer and it's such a beautiful thing to see. I felt so warm inside reading the family dynamics, because while they are messy and imperfect, there is love there.

This is such a sharply written book as well. The countless jabs at racism, classism, ableism, and more that are cleverly woven into an otherwise mundane paragraph are truly brilliant. I learned a lot about modern New Zealand society which I very much appreciated ("How long have you been in New Zealand? Have you heard about racism?").

I will be shoving this book into the hands of everyone I know, and following any and everything Rebecca K Reilly writes from now on.

I leave you with one quote of the endless number I highlighted while reading: "I don't really feel like anything these days, just a beautiful husk filled with opinions about globalism and a strong desire to go out for dinner."

Read this book.

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