Jonathan Kravetz

Award-winning writer and Stoughton native Jonathan Kravetz joins us to celebrate the launch of his novel, How We Were Before, about the fallout from a home invasion turned tragedy. Jonathan will discuss his new work, answer audience questions, and sign books! Beer and wine will be available for purchase during the event.

PLEASE NOTE: This is a ticketed event. All guests must be registered for a ticket to gain admission to this event. You can register via the eventbrite link below. 

If you're not able to make the event, you can order a signed and personalized copy by clicking on the book below. Add "Signed Copy" and how you'd like the book personalized in the comments section of your order. 

From Kirkus:
A startling double murder shakes a small American town in Kravetz’s debut novel.

Reporter Matt Foster, after five years at a weekly in Benfield, Massachusetts, has a line on a story that will appeal to bigger publications: 18-year-old Billy Lawson, during a burglary, shot and killed elderly Pete and Tara Blythe in their sleep. As Matt interviews Billy’s mom, will he become more devoted to the sympathetic woman than to his “juicy” news story? This is the first of 12 interlinked tales that highlight various characters in the homicide’s aftermath over the course of 2014. Shelby, the older of the couple’s two daughters, bonds with a local female reporter and debates what type of letter to send Billy in prison—scornful or empathetic. Shelby’s sister, Samantha, is estranged from her husband, Carlton, a sanitation worker with plans to confront the former police chief who had a hand (however inadvertently) in Billy targeting the Blythes. The author breaks up these stories with glimpses of Pete and Tara’s married life through the decades as they struggle with infidelity and the pressures of raising kids. Kravetz’s stellar characterization pays off in a series of profound turns as his cast question not only the horrifying crime but also their own lives. As these tales aptly reveal, such misfortunes as loneliness, alcoholism, and broken relationships may start with one or two people but hurt myriad others. Characters pop up in multiple stories, giving readers varied perspectives (Billy’s friend, Barry Epstein, seems both a troublemaker and a troubled soul). Throughout, the author ornaments the taut prose with metaphors that pack a punch (“Life is a broken jaw, always aching”; an end-of-the-workday body is “wrung out like a damp washcloth”).

"A fascinating, potent examination of how a single violent act can spark endless repercussions." - Kirkus Reviews

When a savage home invasion results in the death of a town's most glamorous couple, the surviving friends and relatives of the victims must navigate the emotional aftermath: Exasperated high school Vice-Principal Zachary Rivers makes a final effort to reach a troubled student. Town librarian, Shelby Blythe-- the eldest daughter of the murder victims-- begins a correspondence with Billy Lawson, her parents' murderer. Evelyn Kavanaugh, a retired marketing manager and beloved family friend of the Blythes, embarks on a luxurious cruise as a prelude to suicide. Noam Russell, Billy Lawson's best friend, returns to Benfield to claim a share of his deceased father's estate. Samantha Blythe's maternal attempt to help an employee evokes a renewed desire to connect with her own family. The spaces between stories are haunted by echoes of the deceased couple's life-- from the ignorant bliss of first impressions and great expectations to the tumultuous troubles of middle age, and, finally, an undying hope for reconciliation.

Jonathan Kravetz is an award-winning author whose work has appeared in journals such as Cardinal Sins, The Rappahannock Review, Narrative Northeast, The Opiate Magazine, All The Sins, The Furious Gazelle, and Wilderness House Literary Review. His plays have been produced in New York, Dallas, and in the UK, and he's twice been a Eugene O' Neill Playwrights Conference semi-finalist. His plays have been published in the Exposition Review, The Iris Literary Journal, and other journals. He is the founder and former editor-in-chief of the literary webzine,

Saturday, May 25, 2024 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
111 South Street
Plainville, MA 02762
Pre-Order Now Badge
How We Were Before By Jonathan Kravetz Cover Image
ISBN: 9781960018915
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Running Wild Press - May 20th, 2024