In Between Days

Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection

Indiebound “Indie Next” Selection

San Antonio Express-News’s “Fictional Work of the Year

From a commanding new voice in fiction comes a novel as perceptive as it is generous: a portrait of an American family trying to cope in our world today, a story of choices and doubts and transgressions.

The Hardings are teetering on the brink. Elson—once one of Houston’s most promising architects, who never quite lived up to expectations—is recently divorced from his wife of thirty years, Cadence. Their grown son, Richard, is still living at home: driving his mother’s minivan, working at a local coffee shop, resisting the career as a writer that beckons him. But when Chloe Harding gets kicked out of her East Coast college, for reasons she can’t explain to either her parents or her older brother, the Hardings’ lives start to unravel. Chloe returns to Houston, but the dangers set in motion back at school prove inescapable. Told with piercing insight, taut psychological suspense, and the wisdom of a true master of character, this is a novel about the vagaries of love and family, about betrayal and forgiveness, about the possibility and impossibility of coming home.


In Between Days is a tightly wound novel of suspense, wrapped in the emotional trials of a family teetering on the edge of disaster. Andrew Porter has given us a fresh, modern, literary page-turner, exposing in turn the inner lives of father, mother, brother, and sister. Grown-ups go around behaving like children, while adult children refuse to grow up, until ultimately everyone is shaken from their sheltered lives and into a whole new world.” —Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

“When it comes to novels about the modern family, nobody does it quite like the Americans. From John Cheever and Richard Yates to Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides and this year’s women’s prize for fiction winner AM Homes, no one can touch them for their portrayal of the dark underbelly of this supposedly model institution. In Between Days might well be Pennsylvania-born author Andrew Porter’s first novel, but it proves his credentials as a writer worthy of a place in this illustrious hall of fame. Eminently moving but never sentimental, Porter’s powerful tale of a dysfunctional family at breaking point is plotted with the suspense of a well-paced thriller.”The Guardian

“Porter writes with intuitiveness about the complexities of family life and creates indelible characters . . . What makes In Between Days so compelling is the characters. Each is holding something back from the others, carrying a secret, telling only half the truth most of the time. By withholding vital information, Porter is able to develop a sense of unease as thick as Houston smog.”San Antonio Express-News
“[Gives] a real and moving sense of how families are composed of so many moments mutually and individually and collectively experienced . . . The author manages to make us care, to help us see how every move and each decision, however seemingly important or inconsequential, ravels and unravels a family’s life, as the fabric nonetheless somehow holds together . . . Eloquent.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune

In Between Days confirms that Andrew Porter has arrived . . . A Jamesian examination of character that dances a quadrille with the points of view of the four Hardings, the novel sustains the taut suspense of crime fiction . . . The prose and pacing are nearly flawless.” Texas Observer

“This is Andrew Porter’s first novel and, as a portrait of a modern American nuclear family, it is a deft one. He weaves in the full tapestry of contemporary life and its complications: male menopause, desperate housewives, extended adolescence, and race relations in post-9/11 America.” Dallas Morning News

“Porter’s debut novel grabs the reader and does not let go until the last line . . . The plot moves backward and forward in time, artfully revealing key details and maintaining a mesmerizing level of suspense . . . An examination of the development of identity as seen through the lens of the disintegration of family; highly recommended.” Library Journal
“A stirring page-turner, part Chekhov and part Hitchcock.” Houston magazine

“I was shaken by this cautionary tale of what can happen when a family’s secrets become larger than the love they share.” Real Simple

In Between Days is as complex and sensitive in psychology as it is credible and compelling in narrative . . . [Porter] masterfully creates the context in which this quartet of characters display not just their vulnerabilities but their desperate comprehension.” Baton Rouge Advocate

“The story is told with great emotional and psychological insight. All of the four Hardings get to tell their pieces of the story in their distinct voices, creating a multilayered and suspenseful tale of love in all its varieties and family defined in different ways.” Booklist

“A striking assemblage of generational disintegration and distress that will remind some readers of [the] Ingmar Bergman–inspired Woody Allen art house flick Interiors by way of Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides . . . Porter has effortlessly and enviably, it seems, made the tough transition from best-kept literary secret to bestseller material.” San Antonio magazine

“Porter’s absorbing debut novel chronicles the slow-motion fracture of an upper-middle-class Houston clan . . . The prose is smooth—practically frictionless, thanks to Porter’s realistic yet meaningful dialogue and his plainspoken, nonjudgmental descriptions . . . Porter wants to explore why we take such firm hold of some parts of our emotional lives but willfully neglect others, and his surprise ending suggests why it’s worth breaking free of others’ definitions of emotional attainment.” Kirkus Reviews

Andrew Porter is a born storyteller . . . He makes his own space instantly and invites you in. Hats off!” —Barry Hannah

“This is a beautifully written and immaculately observed portrait of what happens to the splinters of a broken family, and their shared concept of Home. Terrific. “The Times (London)

“Andrew Porter’s 2010 debut, the story collection The Theory of Light and Matter, was much acclaimed. This compelling, perceptive novel confirms his talent. Porter gives us a portrait of a household on the brink of dispersal, but even as he depicts the tensions of family life he movingly affirms its consolations.”—The Financial Times (UK)

“Andrew Porter’s poised study of the meaning of love, family and home has a meatier, more suspenseful plot than you’d anticipate [and] the backdrop, Houston, is also unexpected, taking on a lush complexity in Porter’s telling”The Daily Mail

“An exquisitely told dysfunctional family drama . . . One of the year’s stellar debut novels.” —Largehearted Boy blog

“Andrew Porter’s fiction is thoughtful, lucid, and highly controlled . . . He has the kind of voice one can accept as universal—honest and grave, with transparency as its adornment.” —Marilynne Robinson
“Porter can achieve more in a handful of pages than most writers can in a hundred.” San Antonio Express-News 

“Andrew Porter’s poised study of the meaning of love, family and home has a meatier, more suspenseful plot than you’d anticipate [and] the backdrop, Houston, is also unexpected, taking on a lush complexity in Porter’s telling”The Daily Mail

“The real treat is Porter’s plainspoken treatment of his characters, quiet and intense, and the revelations of fine but substantive fractures that are impossible to repair.”The Paris Review Daily

In clear, clean prose, and reminiscent of Rosellen Brown’s Before and After and Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz, Andrew Porter’s astonishing and provocative debut novel follows a family falling apart in the face of colliding expectations, secrets and betrayals.”The Barnes & Noble Review (a “Discover Great New Writers” selection)

“Beautifully written, deeply felt, and sharply intelligent, Andrew Porter’s In Between Days is a subtly drawn masterpiece.”—Powell’s Books


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