When We Were Strangers (Hardcover)

When We Were Strangers Cover Image

When We Were Strangers (Hardcover)


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"An exquisitely told story of grief, growing up, and the glorious complexities of love and life." - Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and You'd Be Home Now

"A sparkling, stirring ode to love, art, and unexpected human connection." - Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of The Serpent King

From the author of Accidental comes a gripping story about a teen grieving her father's sudden death--and grappling with the shocking secrets he left behind.

Seventeen-year-old Evie Parker is devastated in the wake of her father's sudden death. But she knows something her mother doesn't: the day of his heart attack, her dad was planning to move out. After finding his packed bags, an impulsive Evie puts everything away to spare her mom more heartache.

To make matters worse, Evie soon learns the reason her father was going to leave: he had been dating his twenty-two-year-old receptionist, Bree, who is now six months pregnant. Desperate to distract herself, Evie signs up for a summer photography class, where she meets a motley crew of students, including quirky and adorable Declan. Still, Evie can't stop thinking about her father's mistress. Armed with a telephoto lens, she caves in to her curiosity, and what starts as a little bit of spying on Bree quickly becomes full-blown stalking. And when an emergency forces Evie to help Bree, she learns there's more to the story than she ever knew . . .

Alex Richards crafts a riveting new story about betrayal, complicated family secrets, and getting to the heart of what matters--ultimately asking readers how far they'd be willing to go to unravel the truth.

Alex Richards is the author of Accidental and is a freelance magazine contributor. She is a terrible navigator (just ask the African jungle she got lost in) but makes up for it with a dark sense of humor and home-made horror films. Raised in New Mexico, she and her family live in Brooklyn.

Product Details ISBN: 9781547603640
ISBN-10: 154760364X
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Publication Date: July 27th, 2021
Pages: 304
Language: English

When We Were Strangers is an exquisitely told story of grief, growing up, and the glorious complexities of love and life. A lovely portrait of the artist as a young person, learning to zoom in on her main subject: the truth of her life and what to do with it.” —Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of GIRL IN PIECES and YOU'D BE HOME NOW

When We Were Strangers is a sparkling, stirring ode to love, art, and unexpected human connection. It reminds us that while the valley of grief may be long, we can emerge from it into the light.” —Jeff Zentner, Morris Award-winning author of THE SERPENT KING

“Alex Richards's eye for detail, perfect-pacing, and snappy dialog make When We Were Strangers a compulsive read about grief, the power of family, friendship, and finding connection where you least expect it.” —Shana Youngdahl, author of AS MANY NOWS AS I CAN GET

“. . . a beautiful exploration of a family torn apart by secrets and grief . . . . A moving portrayal of grief, family, and the complexity of different perspectives.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"When We Were Strangers is an affecting, expertly told contemporary YA novel that explores the complexity of love, loss and family. . . . Alex Richards (Accidental) skillfully channels the voice of a teenage girl experiencing emotional turmoil." -Shelf Awareness, starred review

“Absorbing . . . . [an] introspective story of changing emotions and a softening heart.” —Publishers Weekly

“Richards deftly explores the myriad emotional struggles after an accidental gun death. . . . Tragic, moving and genuine.” —School Library Journal on ACCIDENTAL (starred review)

“A valuable take on a timely issue.” —Kirkus Reviews on ACCIDENTAL (starred review)

“In Richards's dramatic debut, Johanna, with her harrowing internal journey and desperate attempts to find closure and peace, is an admirable, convincing heroine who is determined to make things right for herself.” —Publishers Weekly on ACCIDENTAL

“Richards captures the ongoing struggle and painful reality of such tragic events with raw honesty and compassion and affirms the healing power of love. Fans of realistic fiction and “ripped from the headlines” stories will find this a compelling read.” —The Horn Book Magazine on ACCIDENTAL


Celebrating the power of story, the inaugural Santa Fe Literary Festival will be an unforgettable weekend dedicated to a shared love and language of ideas. Collected Works Bookstore is thrilled to be the official bookstore of the Festival. 

Bestselling, prizewinning authors and literary legends like Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros, John Grisham, amongst others, will headline the festival, discussing their work with readings and book signings that set the stage for further inspired conversations.

NOTE: If you purchase a festival event ticket that is INCLUSIVE of the author's book, you will receive that book upon check-in for your event at the festival.

To order books by festival authors directly from CW, see below. Collected Works will be carrying a wide selection of books by all participating authors available for online pre-order and at the on-site festival bookstore May 20-23.

Purchase your tickets from the SF Literary Festival website here.

Purchase your books by festival authors directly from CW below:

Margaret Atwood     Freddie Bitsoie     Sandra Cisneros

Lynn Cline     William deBuys     Ashley Ford

John Grisham     Roshi Joan Halifax     Joy Harjo

Anne Hillerman     Cheryl Alters Jamison     Craig Johnson

Asma Khan     Phil Klay      Jon Krakauer

Valeria Luiselli     Deborah Madison      Emily St. John Mandel

George R. R. Martin      James McGrath Morris     Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich of Honey & Co. 

Carmella Padilla     Douglas Preston     Kirstin Valdez Quade

Bob Shacochis     Henry Shukman     Hampton Sides

Bryant Terry     Darryl Lorenzo Wellington     Colson Whitehead

Don Winslow     Lawrence Wright