THE SABBATHDAY RIVER combines elements of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s THE SCARLET LETTER and some real life events from an obscure (unless you happened to be living in Ireland in the 1980s) murder case known as the Kerry Babies Affair. The novel is set in New Hampshire in the 1980s, and begins as transplanted New Yorker, Naomi Roth, finds the body of an infant in the nearby Sabbathday River. THE SABBATHDAY RIVER was a main selection of the Book of the Month Club in 1999.

"What a rich and satisfying novel this is! It's a sophisticated look at the casually deployed but deep-seated assumptions by which women are judged, and not only in small towns like the one Jean Hanff Korelitz knows so well. This compelling story of loss and longing, written with great sympathy and intelligence, is fueled by sex, class, mystery, and terrific courtroom theater." -- Rosellen Brown


Ms. Korelitz has delivered a page-turner here--absorbing weekend or vacation reading for those in the mood for a suspenseful morality tale.


When Naomi Roth pulls the body of a stabbed infant girl from the Sabbathday River, she precipitates an investigation that devastates the small New Hampshire town she hoped to save. Smart and engrossing, this thriller addresses the complex morality behind its characters' behavior with gravity and deep humanity.