The Most

Coming Soon


By Jessica Anthony

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$24.99 CAD

From “one of our most thrilling and singular innovators on the page” (Laura Van Den Berg), a tightly wound, consuming tale about a 1950s American housewife who decides to get into the pool in her family’s apartment complex one morning and won’t come out.
It is an unseasonably warm Sunday in November 1957. Katheen, a college tennis champion turned Delaware housewife, decides not to join her flagrantly handsome life insurance salesman husband, Virgil, or their two young boys, at church. Instead, she takes a dip in the kidney-shaped swimming pool of their apartment complex. And then she won’t come out.
A riveting, single-sitting read set over the course of eight hours, THE MOST breaches the shimmering surface of a seemingly idyllic mid-century marriage, immersing us in the unspoken truth beneath. As Sputnik 2 orbits the earth carrying Laika, the doomed Soviet dog, Kathleen and Virgil hurtle towards each other until they arrive at a reckoning that will either shatter their marriage, or transform it, at last, into something real.

  • “An exquisite, taut literary mousetrap—this is a tale of sport in every sense of the word, of game and play, winning and losing, strategy and choice. If the secret of jazz, our male protagonist’s hidden passion, is the notes they don’t play, then the secret of this aching novella is the words the characters don’t say to each other. Jessica Anthony’s writing is a thunderous, polyphonic music all its own.”
  • "The Most achieves the impossible: it says something new about marriage. In this thrilling novel, Anthony's genius for structural and chronological invention is grounded in sensory richness and the most vividly idiosyncratic characters I’ve encountered in a while. This is a 21st century literary classic waiting to happen.”
  • “Jessica Anthony’s The Most is a brilliant and startling domestic fable of longing. The novel captures a haunting unrest at the core of midcentury American life, treating its aimlessly striving characters with a stern caress of grace. The Most is a novel of ruthless beauty. I read it in one perfect sitting.”
  • “With Enter the Aardvark Jessica Anthony proved herself to be one of the most inventive writers working today. That book should have prepared me for her ingenious new novella, The Most, but somehow it didn’t. Trust me, though. The Most is a must.”
    RICHARD RUSSO, author of EMPIRE FALLS and the NORTH BATH Trilogy
  • “Sensational…exceptional…Readers won’t want to put this down.”
    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, Starred Review
  • The Most charges the air like a thunderclap when a married couple reckons with their past and the masks they hide behind. You will race to find out who they are and who they might become. Jessica Anthony’s riveting novel is stellar. She has quickly become one of my favorite writers.
    TOMAS Q. MORIN, author of MACHETE
  • “Can the secrets and misdeeds of a marriage be survived?... Anthony’s sharply focused portrait of seemingly average lives in midcentury America reveals the complexities of those lives in the course of one balmy day. A novella packing all the imagery and storytelling power of a novel.”
    KIRKUS, Starred Review
  • A vaguely disenchanted midcentury housewife enters her swimming pool on a warm November day — and decides not to leave. A quick but psychologically acute read by the author of “Enter the Aardvark” with a vivid sense of time and place (not just the pool).

On Sale
Jul 30, 2024
Page Count
144 pages

Jessica Anthony

About the Author

Jessica Anthony is the author of three books of fiction, most recently the novel Enter the Aardvark, a finalist for the New England Book Award in Fiction. A recipient of the Creative Capital Award in Literature, Anthony wrote The Most while guarding the Mária Valéria Bridge in Štúrovo, Slovakia. She lives in Portland, Maine.

Learn more about this author