The Risk of Us, a novel, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on April 9, 2019.

“An emotionally complex and amazingly suspenseful novel about love and fear.”
–Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation

The Risk of Us is now available for pre-order from your favorite independent bookseller, or online via IndieBound.

It is also available for pre-order in hardcover here and as an ebook here on Amazon

If you’re on Good Reads, you can add The Risk of Us to your “to-read” list here.

“It’s a triumph of a book that captures an essential truth not just about how it feels to foster an already formed human being, but about the fragile, shape-shifting quality of any family. Raising a child is always a leap of faith, motivated by love, which is something this narrator has stores of.”

–San Francisco Chronicle, full review here

Readings and Events

Tuesday, April 9th: Green Apple Books, San Francisco in conversation with Vanessa Hua 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 11th: The Alley, Oakland. Book party, 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 14th: Flatiron Writers Room, Asheville, NC, in conversation with A.K. Benninghofen, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, April 17th: McNally Jackson Books, Brooklyn NY, in conversation with Kate Greathead, 7 p.m.

Friday, April 19th: Third Place Books, Seattle (Ravenna store location), in conversation with Joshua Mohr, 7 p.m.

Monday, April 22nd: Book Soup, Los Angeles, in conversation with Medaya Ocher, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 23rd: Chaucer’s Books, Santa Barbara, in conversation with DJ Palladino, 7 p.m.

Thursday, April 25th: Time Tested Books, Sacramento, 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 27th: Petunia’s Place, Fresno, 11 a.m.

Sunday, May 5th: Stranger Than Fiction reading series, Edinburgh Castle Pub, San Francisco, 3 p.m.

Saturday, May 18th: Babylon Salon reading series, The Armory Club, San Francisco, 6 p.m.

Early praise for The Risk of Us:

“I’ve never read anything so beautiful about the intricacies of adoption—the process itself, and the seldom-talked-about aftermath. The prose is elegant and compressed; I often had to stop reading to catch my breath. Anyone who has ever loved a child, in any capacity, should read this book.”
— Jamie Quatro, author of I Want to Show You More and Fire Sermon 

Rachel Howard has given us a portrait of family-building and attachment that is at once beautiful and painful, serious and funny, page-turning and insightful. I was deeply moved by this novel, a powerful reminder of the risks we take on whenever we love anyone.
–Belle Boggs, author of The Art of Waiting

Rachel Howard’s The Risk of Us (so accurately titled) is a novel of deep pain yet also laughs – lots of them. Nothing is easy in this book, and that’s as it should be. With risk comes a kind of awesome grace. A wonderfully written and candid examination of what it means to be a family.
–Peter Orner, author of Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge and Love and Shame and Love

This book reads like a thriller. A beautiful story about connection and love despite and beyond trauma.
–Julia Scheeres, author of Jesus Land and A Thousand Lives

The Risk of Us is a spare, poetic, and fearless narrative that explores the question of what makes—and keeps—a family together. Be prepared for an absorbing, unflinching chronicle of the formidable difficulties and vast rewards of love.
–Krys Lee, author of How I Became a North Korean and Drifting House

Rachel Howard works with an elegant complexity, rendering family life with its necessary cocktail of pain and humor and pathos. She’s the kind of writer I admire most: an unflinching, savage, and ultimately tender eye trying to make sense of all our confusions.
–Joshua Mohr, author of Sirens and All This Life