A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do: A Novel (Hardcover)
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A big–hearted novel “about the grace of friends and family, the true depth and patience of love, and the impossible privilege of what it means to be a father” (Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You).
For young couple Taz and Marnie, their fixer–upper is the symbol of their new life together: a work in progress, the beginning of something grand, all the more so when they learn a baby is on her way. But the blueprint for the perfect life eludes Taz when Marnie dies in childbirth, plummeting the taciturn carpenter headfirst into the new, strange world of fatherhood alone, a landscape of contradictions, of great joy and sorrow. With a supporting cast as rich and compelling as the wild Montana landscape, the novel follows Taz's first two years as a father―a job no one can be fully prepared for.
The five–time winner of the Pacific Northwest Bookseller Award with more than eleven books in over twenty years, Pete Fromm has become one of the West’s best literary legends. A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How To Do beautifully captures people who end up building a life that is both unexpected and brave.
About the Author
Pete Fromm is a five–time winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Literary Award for his novels If Not For This, As Cool As I Am and How All This Started; the story collection Dry Rain; and the memoir Indian Creek Chronicles. He is on the faculty of Pacific University’s low–residency MFA program, and lives in Montana with his family. Find out more at petefromm.com.
Praise for A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do
An Amazon Top Ten Book of May 2019
Finalist for the 2019 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Reading the West Book Award
“In this heart–wrenching but hopeful novel by Pete Fromm, a hapless husband needs (and fortunately gets) plenty of help raising his daughter when his wife dies during childbirth.” —Erin Kodicek, Business Insider
“The novel follows Taz’s first two years of fatherhood, a job this self–employed carpenter does not know how to do . . . Fromm’s novel is full of joy, sorrow and new beginnings.” —Barbara Theroux, The Missoulian
“[A Job You Mostly Won't Know How To Do] beautifully captures people who, isolated by land and by their actions, end up building a life that is both unexpected and brave.” —Inlander
“The much–lauded [Pete Fromm] taps into the highs and lows of parenthood. First–time father and recent widower Taz struggles to balance work, finances and childrearing amid a swathe of unpredictable challenges, but with every challenge comes a great reward.” —Chris Melville, Idaho Mountain Express
“Pete Fromm excels at showing how everyday people cope with tragedy and endure what they cannot evade. A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do is a quietly elegant novel about working through grief and loss by putting one foot in front of the other and about letting people into your broken places to comfort and to heal you.” —Vannessa Cronin, Omnivoracious, A Best Book of the Month
“A tender tale of loss and fatherhood, Pete Fromm’s A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do is a beautiful story about what happens when your village comes to the rescue and gives you a second chance at happiness.” —Chika Gujarathi, BookPage
“A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do feels like a comedic novel of young parenthood . . . Their situation seems idyllic, but Fromm has another story to tell: of resilience in the face of incomprehensible tragedy . . . This bittersweet novel of young love turning tragic follows a widower and his newborn forging a life among friends and memories.” —Cheryl Krocker McKeon, Shelf Awareness
“Pulls at the heart strings with the poignant tale of a father, who just having lost his wife in childbirth, must quickly learn to raise his infant daughter, Midge, alone . . . Full of gorgeous descriptions of the wild landscape of Montana, Fromm’s novel draws the reader in with a colorful cast of characters who bring hope and light to Taz’s life again. Fans of emotional family dramas will find much to love.” —Publishers Weekly
“A widowed father's recovery from grief forms the framework of Fromm's touching novel . . . Fromm eschews suspense in favor of a close study of the messy process of rebuilding a life. He pays loving attention to the details of Taz's work and to the place that is as vital to him as any human being. A compassionate and unsentimental look at one confused young man's path through loss.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This deeply emotional story is in some ways a simple one of death, birth, grieving, and a long, slow climb toward recovery . . . The best parts are simply magical as Fromm renders indelible images with heartbreaking precision in beautiful, lyrical prose.” ―Booklist
“A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do reminds us of the light, the goodness of people, the kindness of strangers, and how the unlucky aren’t always lost. They can be lucky again. Fromm is an important and much–needed writer. I can’t recommend this one enough.” —Willy Vlautin, author of Don't Skip Out on Me
“Once again, Fromm writes masterfully about the tribulations of everyday people in the modern American West. A Job You Mostly Won't Know How to Do is at once a heart–wrenching love story, a gritty tale of surviving irredeemable loss, and a poignant meditation on fatherhood.” —Jonathan Evison, author of Lawn Boy
“Oh my God. A brave beauty of a book, A Job You Mostly Won’t Know How to Do is about how heartbreaking tragedy can actually burnish us to a new shine we never could have imagined. About the grace of friends and family, the true depth and patience of love, and the impossible privilege of what it means to be a father, this novel simply glows.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
“Fromm is an artist, sifting through all the detail of the daily world to find the beautiful revealed. His characters are another life you've lived, felt that closely. Taz is overwhelmed in this novel but also enriched. The miracle of hanging a door correctly, of making it through the first year without his daughter's mother, of getting through a single day, finding resilience and a more expansive life than tragedy promised. There are no shortcuts here, everything earned.” —David Vann, author of Aquarium
“This beautiful, mighty book is a workout for the heart; it breaks and rebuilds and strengthens and invigorates. I came away from it with that main muscle expanded in my breast. Superb.” —Niall Griffiths, author of A Great Big Shining Star