Ann Putnam with Beverly Conner — 'I Will Leave You Never'

Zoe’s most devout wish is to keep her family safe. Her greatest fear is that she cannot. When threats begin to surface on all sides, it seems her fear is about to be realized.


Third Place Books welcomes the return of author and Hemingway scholar Ann Putnam for a reading of her new novel set in Lake Forest Park, I Will Leave You Never. Kirkus Reviews calls the book, “a poignant story of tenuous growth amid catastrophes. An often moving story of uncertainty and loss.” Putnam will be joined in conversation by local author Beverly Conner. This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required in advance.

This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About I Will Leave You Never. . .

Zoe’s most devout wish is to keep her family safe. Her greatest fear is that she cannot. When threats begin to surface on all sides—her husband, Jay, diagnosed with cancer; a serial arsonist setting fires during drought season near the woods where she and Jay live with their three children in the Northwest—it seems her fear is about to be realized.

In the middle of a perilous drought in the Northwest, an arsonist begins setting fires all around. It gives Zoe Penney nightmares about her home—seated right next to tinder-dry woods—rising up in explosions of fire, as well as haunting dreams of a little boy deep in the forest.

Winter brings the longed-for rains but also a cancer diagnosis for Zoe’s husband, Jay, which plunges the family into disbelief and fear. The children lean in close to their parents, can’t stop touching them. As Jay’s treatment begins, nature lets loose with strange and startling encounters, while a shadowy figure hovers about the corners of the house.

First, Zoe’s fear turns to anger: How can I love you if I am to lose you? How can I live in joy when the sky is falling? But she gradually learns that it’s possible to love anything, even terrible things—if you can love them for what they are teaching you.


Praise for I Will Leave You Never. . .

“. . . readers are treated to a poignant story of tenuous growth amid catastrophes. An often moving story of uncertainty and loss.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Ann Putnam’s glorious I Will Leave You Never is a story of threat and survival and the ties of love that bind us to one another. This novel resonates with the fragile and yet persistent threads of our living, threads that will vibrate inside you for a long time to come.”
—Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever

“Ann Putnam’s I Will Leave You Never is a heartbreaking, gracefully rendered story of the quiet moments between and around the devastating ones and of the beautiful inner workings of the heart and minds battling their way along life’s toughest roads.”
—Laurie Frankel, author of This is How It Always Is and One Two Three

“Exquisitely written, this luminous novel takes you to the deep heart of a marriage. Threatened by illness and arson, a family with three children and too many puppies ultimately finds the strength to go forward with wit and insight.”
—Beverly Conner, author of Where Light is a Place, Falling From Grace

Ann Putnam is an internationally-known Hemingway scholar, who has made more than six trips to Cuba as part of the Ernest Hemingway International Colloquium, sponsored by the Cuban Ministry of Culture. Her novel, Cuban Quartermoon, came, in part, from those trips, as well as a residency at Hedgebrook Writer’s Colony. She has published the memoir, Full Moon at Noontide: A Daughter’s Last Goodbye (University of Iowa Press), and short stories in Nine by Three:  Stories (Collins Press), among others. Her literary criticism appears in many collections and periodicals. She holds a PhD from the University of Washington and has taught creative writing, gender studies and American Literature for many years.  Her novel, I Will Leave You Never is forthcoming May 2023. She lives in Gig Harbor, Washington.

Beverly Conner is the author of the historical novel Where Light Is a Place. Her work has appeared in the collections Private Voices, Public Lives: Women Writing on the Literary Life; Colors of a Different Horse; and Nine by Three: Stories. She has published short fiction in Puget Soundings and was awarded two fellowships at the Hedgebrook Writers Colony. She taught creative writing, rhetoric, and literature at the University of Puget Sound and is currently at work on her third novel.

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