American Circumstance

I want to take a moment to thank everyone for the amazing and heartwarming response to American Circumstance and to offer a special end of 2013 discount for new readers. I never publicly pick “favorites” among my work because it’s like deciding which child you love best. But I have made an exception in the case of American Circumstance which I have said many times, is my personal favorite of my work.

American Circumstance centers on a theme I think I have been obsessed with for many years: appearance versus reality. In essence the book explores how our lives and relationships look, versus how we experience them. Layered into the book are narratives about social class, power, privilege and gender inequality on a global scale. However, this is very much a book about friendship, hope, and learning to understand and accept those we love. As in all of my work, the role of the arts in our lives also creeps through the pages. Writing this book brought me great joy and I am so proud to be able to share it with others. I must again thank my local writing group and especially my weekly writing buddy, Celine Boyle, for all of their guidance as I wrote the book. As always, a huge thank you to Peter de Liefde, Paul Chambers and the entire Sense Publishing team for supporting my work and creative expression more broadly.

I have had so much fun Skyping into classes and chatting with college students who have read the book– great questions and energy. Thank you to the professors using the book for a springboard for reflection and conversation. I have been deeply touched by lovely comments from readers, book clubs and colleagues and profoundly honored by the award nominations the book has received. I am tickled by messages from women saying they plan to give it to their friends as a holiday gift– nothing could warm my heart more. I am also so proud to share the following endorsements by scholars and writers I greatly admire:

American Circumstance kept me up! I couldn’t put it down. I wanted to see how the characters’ lives untangled.  I loved how Leavy challenged my cultural assumptions. This book would be great to teach. Students will have a lot to talk about as they discover a ‘sociology of everyday life’ embedded in the fiction.” — Professor Laurel Richardson, The Ohio State University

“This one is a real page-turner. Just when you think you know what’s going on, it turns out that events aren’t at all what they seem.” — Professor Eve Spangler, Boston College

“Recently, I read Patricia Leavy’s novel American Circumstance. It is wonderful! The characters and story invite you into a world that is both familiar and unfamiliar. While many urgent social issues are raised for thoughtful consideration, the heart of the novel pulses with the experiences and emotions of three women who, while marked by many differences, all share a commitment to living hopefully in love. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole novel–from the first inviting words to the exquisitely poignant conclusion. Highly recommended!!” — Professor and Poet, Carl Leggo, University of British Columbia

American Circumstance had me hooked from page one.  Patricia Leavy creates a compelling, enthralling world that beautifully illustrates what real love and partnership truly is while challenging our assumptions and pushing us to look at our own relationships.  Expertly crafted and engagingly drawn.  Pick this book up!” – Amy Leigh Mercree, Relationship Expert and author of The Spiritual Girl’s Guide to Dating: Your Enlightened Path to Love, Sex & Soul Mates

I am also honored that to date American Circumstance has been nominated for the following awards:

  • PEN/Faulkner Award  for Fiction 2014
  • The Mirra Komarovsky Award  for the Outstanding Sociology Book of the Year 2014 sponsored by the Eastern Sociological Society
  • The Emily Toth Award for the Best Single Work In Women’s Studies by One or More Authors 2014 sponsored by the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association
  • Outstanding Qualitative Book of the Year 2014 sponsored by the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry

If you haven’t had the chance to pick up American Circumstance yet Sense is delighted to offer 15% off and FREE SHIPPING for the rest of 2013. Use promo code 24601 at to buy the book at the discounted price. I hope it will make for good winter vacation reading or a holiday gift for loved ones.

Thank you.

Love and Light,


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