Willa & Hesper
Willa & Hesper is a novel about two young women who fall in love, fall apart, and unwittingly take the same path to mend their broken hearts, seeking answers in their ancestral lands of Tbilisi, Georgia and at the war sites of Germany. It deals with queerness, familial connections, and coming of age in uncertain times. An excerpt from Willa & Hesper was published in Cosmonauts Avenue here.
It is available for purchase at your local indie bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Amazon, Audible, and other places books are sold. You can also request the physical book, ebook, or audiobook from your local library. Add Willa & Hesper to your Goodreads shelf.
For publicity requests, please contact Jordan Rubinstein (Jordan.Rubinstein@hbgusa.com).
Praise & Reviews for WILLA & HESPER
“In this thoughtful and fascinating debut from Feltman, two students in Columbia’s MFA program in 2016 spiral into a romance—and just as quickly spiral out… Feltman slices directly to the core of heartbreak’s ugliest moments: the temptation to fall back into patterns, to keep running from intimacy and risks. She evocatively captures the tension between aching to move on and not give up, and how the shattering of one relationship fractures others. Feltman stays away from happy ending conventions and skillfully weaves glimmers of hope and healing throughout, making for a keenly perceptive novel.” — Publishers Weekly
“"A debut novel for those who loved Everything is Illuminated, but updated with a queer-young-romance- twist. The title characters in Amy Feltman's Willa & Hesper find solace from their breakup in the rabbit holes of their European Jewish background." ―New York Times Book Review
“[A] deep and intimate portrait of two queer women in their mid-20s who come of age in New York while navigating—or refusing to navigate—their relationships to privilege, family, identity, and faith. What could be a novel about an intense attraction that falls apart is, in Feltman's hands, a bigger story about how people change us—and how we welcome or resist that change. A moving glimpse into 21st-century queer womanhood.” —Kirkus Reviews
“From Willa and Hesper, readers may see how relationships between twentysomethings, even when brief, have the potential to inspire unimaginable self-discovery.... Feltman's novel is as titillating and tense as the experience of young adult love."―Booklist
"Willa & Hesper is a novel with a beating heart, a love story that is also an intricate love affair with time, history, religion and inheritance. In fresh and captivating prose, and spanning three vibrantly-rendered countries, Amy Feltman's debut enthralled me." ―Chloe Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author of The Immortalists
"A lyrical, timely story about love, heartbreak, and healing. Willa & Hesper explores religion, queerness, what it means to live in today's world in a female body, and the meaning of family in tight, absorbing prose. A beautiful debut by a striking new voice."―Crystal Hana Kim, author of If You Leave Me
"Amy Feltman's debut novel is a joy to read, thrumming with inventive, playful language and filled with characters so finely drawn that they'll feel all too familiar. Willa and Hesper struggle to make sense of the histories, cities, traumas, and families that have shaped them - they struggle, in other words, to grow up. But in Feltman's hands, that universal tale feels utterly fresh and absorbing. With a sharp eye for detail and a lush sense of place whether we're in New York or Tbilisi, she has written an unforgettable story about love, grief, identity, and belonging."―Angelica Baker, author of Our Little Racket
"Willa & Hesper crystallizes a truth that haunts any of us who yearn to fall in love--our ability to be close to another person is always shaped by our secrets, our memories, our familial past. This debut is tender and tough, startlingly intimate, yet attuned to the larger troubles of our current political moment. A moving portrait of two young women, reckoning with themselves and their world, in hopes of finding their way back to one another."―Naima Coster, author of Halsey Street
"This is the queer, coming of age, complicated love story I've been wanting to read for years. I wish I knew Willa and Hesper when I was in my twenties, though I still don't know whose side I'd take after their break-up -- both are strange and smart and compelling."―Katie Heaney, author of Never Have I Ever
"At once bittersweet and sharply funny, Willa & Hesper is a lovely meditation on how the trauma of the past intertwines with the future, fashioning our worldview no matter how hard we resist. Amy Feltman has a genius for imbuing the most specific of details with universal emotions. Both protagonists are urgently, imperfectly real, and you will miss them as much as they miss one another once their story is done."―Julia Fine, author of What Should Be Wild
“There is no love like a young woman's love—strong and fine and grasping and consuming; it leaves a mark. Amy Feltman's debut novel, Willa & Hesper, is the story of such a love, and so, of course, it is also the story of heartbreak and longing, searches for identity, struggles to make sense of the world and of each other… Feltman weaves together these different perspectives and relays a haunting story of aching love and grief, desire and hope.” —Nylon
“There should be a word for the letters to your exes that you never send. Willa & Hesper is full of such imaginary correspondence. After meeting in a graduate workshop, Willa and Hesper embark on a heady affair... After crystallizing the thrill of a new relationship, Feltman adeptly captures each progression of the stages of heartbreak. This is a cathartic break-up read if there ever was one.”—Refinery29
“Feltman tracing the paths of two young queer women (the titular Willa and Hesper): the rise and fall of their romance, the respective paths they take to mend their broken hearts (leading them to their ancestral lands of Tbilisi, Georgia, and the war sites of Germany) and their reckoning (or refusal to reckon with) their privilege… [A]n excellent addition to the genre.”