Kismet: A Novel (Paperback)
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A New York Public Library Summer Staff Pick
“A wedding, a birthday, a holiday weekend. What could really go wrong? Kismet dishes up everything a reader could possibly crave: family drama, long-held secrets, and the ‘what ifs’ that can sometimes haunt even the most loving of unions.”—Sarah Jio, New York Times bestselling author of With Love from London
A sun-soaked debut about love, sisterhood, and destiny, set in the glorious beach town of Kismet, Fire Island . . . Can Amy’s marriage survive Jo’s wedding?
For as long as anyone can remember, it has been Amy, Jo, and Ben. Amy and Jo, the inseparable Sharp twins who couldn’t be more different; and Ben, Amy’s childhood sweetheart turned husband.
But as this year’s Fourth of July weekend approaches, something feels off. Jo’s whirlwind engagement and wedding ceremony now eclipses the twins’ long-awaited thirtieth birthday. Recent arguments between Amy and Ben have left their marriage feeling more like make-believe than ever-after. And as the family beach town transforms for Jo’s wedding weekend, Amy’s trusted trio will be tested by the most unexpected hurdle yet: the arrival of a handsome, mysterious newcomer in a best man suit. One with a strikingly familiar face. A face that Amy had planned to never see again.
This holiday weekend, even the strongest SPF won’t protect the Sharp twins from all the secrets about to take center stage.
About the Author
Becky Chalsen is a film and TV development executive at the production company Sunday Night. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and now lives in New York City. Becky is a quadruplet and married to her high school sweetheart—also an identical twin—whose family has spent summers on Fire Island for more than three decades. Kismet is her first novel.
One of She Reads best books for a book club in 2023 | One of BookBub's best books to take to the beach this summer
Praise for Kismet
"Chalsen’s stunning debut, which walks the line between romance and women’s fiction, beautifully illustrates the power of family and forgiveness.... Throughout the propulsive plot, the characters wrestle with big, messy, and complex emotions believably arising from major life events. Chalsen infuses her cast with such depth and personality that, by the end, readers will feel like they really know the characters. This moving outing marks Chalsen as a writer to watch."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Becky Chalsen's debut novel Kismet is the ultimate summer read. The Sharp sisters, Jo and Amy, are twins on the cusp of turning 30. Jo is about to marry the man of her dreams while Amy, her maid of honor already found hers. The twins future happiness is a lock until fate takes a turn and changes the course of their lives forever. Kismet is funny, poignant, and sexy with enough surprises to delight and enthrall beach readers everywhere."
—Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Left Undone
“‘A wedding, a birthday, a holiday weekend. What could really go wrong?’ Becky Chalsen’s debut novel, Kismet, dishes up everything a reader could possibly crave: family drama, long-held secrets and the ‘what ifs’ that can sometimes haunt even the most loving of unions—all set amidst the sunset-soaked allure of Fire Island. Book clubs, take note: You’ve just found your next favorite read. Chalsen triumphs with her kindred literary voice, but especially in how she so beautifully, and wisely, illustrates the journey of healing and the subtle nuances of the heart. I loved this story, and I can’t wait to see more from this new and promising voice in fiction.”
—Sarah Jio, New York Times bestselling author of With Love From London
“An atmospheric exploration of love, family, and sisterhood, Kismet is an utterly luscious debut. Keep this one in your beach bag for those sweltering summer days!”
—Sarah Grunder Ruiz, author of Luck and Last Resorts
“Intricate and heartfelt, Chalsen’s Kismet is a moving meditation on how love changes and endures within a can’t-look-away story of family, marriage and complicated choices. With deeply sympathetic characters and rich, incisive writing, this gorgeous debut resonates on every page.”
—Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of The Roughest Draft
"Kismet is a warm and wise beach read about marriage, sisterhood, loss, and life’s biggest choices. Delightful yet deep, this novel is perfect for a summer weekend escape. It left me eager to book my own ferry ride out to Kismet, Fire Island! Chalsen’s voice is filled with heart and hope, and I’m excited to read what she writes next. Kismet is a debut not to be missed."
—Elyssa Friedland, author of Last Summer at the Golden Hotel and The Most Likely Club
"Kismet takes place over only a few days, but contains all the beautiful, visceral rituals of a lifetime of summer escape. Amidst the intoxicating anticipation of a wedding weekend, Chalsen crafts an absorbing, layered story of sisterhood and secrets, mistakes and miscommunication. The Fire Island backdrop infuses every scene with the golden-hour feeling of beach sunsets, the constant balm of salt air, the distant pop of glittering fireworks, and Chalsen infuses her characters with a rare grace and warmth as they navigate the unreliable memories, temptations, and disappointments that arrive along with the end of their twenties."
—Katie Runde, author of The Shore
"With heart and tender insight, Kismet effortlessly captures the nostalgic radiance of summer on the seashore. Chalsen has crafted an absorbing story of sisterhood, friendship, and ultimately, the unbreakable bonds that carry us through life. Readers will fall for the Sharp family in all its imperfect splendor. Like the very best of summer vacations, I didn’t want this book to end!"
—Holly James, author of Nothing But The Truth
"A thoughtful exploration of love, sisterhood, and what happens after 'happily ever after,' Kismet is a beach read with a big heart. A sparkling debut."
—Lauryn Chamberlain, author of Friends From Home
"Narrated over the course of a whirlwind wedding week, Kismet is a heartfelt tribute to the people and places that shape us, an ode to sisterhood and shared history, as well as a thoughtful exploration of a relatable question: did we make the right choice? Are we on the right path?"
—Caitlin Barasch, author of A Novel Obsession
“Intense emotions, high stakes, characters pondering destiny—a truly enjoyable literary concoction. Kismet is the perfect beach read, a story of sisterhood, love, and loss that will have you thinking about fate and the sliding doors in your own life. I devoured it!"
—Kim Hooper, author of Ways the World Could End
“Chalsen's debut captures the easygoing allure of a boozy weekend getaway on beachy Fire Island the way Elin Hilderbrand depicts Nantucket. A good pick for fans of Nancy Thayer and Jane L. Rosen.”