Meredith Maran


A Theory of Small Earthquakes

“A family’s world is irrevocably rocked when an old female lover from Mom’s past reappears” in this “sexy, audacious, politically charged” novel (Vanity Fair).

Eager to escape her damaging past, Alison Rose is drawn to Zoe, a free-spirited artist who offers emotional stability and a love outside the norm. They spend a number of happy years together—until the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake deepens fissures in their relationship, and Alison leaves Zoe for a “normal” life with a man.

But Alison’s son is born in the midst of these complications and shifting emotional bonds, and ultimately the three adults must strive to create a life together that will test the boundaries and balance the needs of all. A story spanning two decades, set against the social, political, and geological upheavals of the Bay Area, A Theory of Small Earthquakes “explores the vagaries of love and the true nature of family” (People).

“[An] inventive, addictive novel [that] teaches us something new about love and sex, jealousy and loyalty, and also, and perhaps most importantly, motherhood.” —Ayelet Waldman, author of Bad Mother and Red Hook Road

“Call it "Two Women, One Man and a Baby." Maran’s take on the modern family is at once unexpected and totally relatable.” —MORE