The Number We End Up With: A Novel

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9781582432700: The Number We End Up With: A Novel

After the unexpected death of her philandering boyfriend, Philadelphia accountant Anjou Lovett takes a temporary position as a Census taker.

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About the Author:

Beth Goldner lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her debut collection of stories, Wake, was published in 2003. This is her first novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

A grieving accountant in Philadelphia becomes a loopy U.S. Census enumerator in Goldner's charming, mournful first novel, following her collection of stories, Wake. Right after the death of her married and philandering boyfriend, Quinn, who walked out on her just before he was hit by a car in downtown Philly, Anjou Lovett is fired from her job as a forensic accountant and gets a temporary Census Bureau position knocking door-to-door in her suburban neighborhood of Glyn Neath. Single, 32-year-old Anjou is an obsessive-compulsive counter, and she is unraveling after the death of Quinn, whose desertion forces her to revisit the bigamous treachery of her own father when she and her sister, Stella, were growing up. Bringing her grief more than her training in the scrutiny of taxes to bear on census gathering, Anjou begins to ask wildly inappropriate questions of her neighbors completing the forms. ("Is it possible to be in love with more than one person at the same time?") Meanwhile, she begins the healing process by making tentative contact with her father, as well as with the woman Quinn left her for shortly before he died. With the house-to-house gathering of census forms, Goldner provides the novel with an elegant structure and pace, and in Anjou, she has created a touching, modern character, rife with contradictory desires.
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