The Next Thing You Know

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A musician facing the untimely end of his career. An end-of-life doula with everything, and nothing, to lose. Me Before You meets A Star Is Born in this powerful new novel from the author of A Million Reasons Why.

As an end-of-life doula, Nova Huston’s job―her calling, her purpose, her life―is to help terminally ill people make peace with their impending death. Unlike her business partner, who swears by her system of checklists, free-spirited Nova doesn’t shy away from difficult clients: the ones who are heartbreakingly young, or prickly, or desperate for a caregiver or companion.

When Mason Shaylor shows up at her door, Nova doesn’t recognize him as the indie-favorite singer-songwriter who recently vanished from the public eye. She knows only what he’s told her: That life as he knows it is over. His deteriorating condition makes playing his guitar physically impossible―as far as Mason is concerned, he might as well be dead already.

Except he doesn’t know how to say goodbye.

Helping him is Nova’s biggest challenge yet. She knows she should keep clients at arm’s length. But she and Mason have more in common than anyone could guess… and meeting him might turn out to be the hardest, best thing that’s ever happened to them both.

The Next Thing You Know is an emotional, resonant story about the power of human connection, love when you least expect it, hope against the odds, and what it really takes to live life with no regrets.

Coming March 22, 2022 from St. Martin’s Press/Macmillan.

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“Jessica Strawser does it again—first-rate storytelling, a fresh, unique premise, and a didn’t-see-that-coming twist, resulting in a book that’s unputdownable! Strawser spins a wise, thought-provoking story that crackles with tension and intrigue. Perfect for book clubs, The Next Thing You Know will have you pondering end-of-life issues, and guessing the final, shocking twist.” —Lori Nelson Spielman, internationally bestselling author of The Star-Crossed Sisters of Tuscany

“A breathtaking, emotional, and compelling novel, The Next Thing You Know is a poignant look at love and hope, and the importance of living every moment with no regrets. Unflinching and unforgettable, this one will crack your heart open and slowly stitch it back together.” —Christina McDonald, bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell

“Uplifting, hopeful, and full of wisdom about surviving loss, embracing life, and offering and accepting forgiveness.”   —Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son