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I Couldn't Love You More Paperback – May 15, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


"Four stars. Dazzling...hilarious and heart-wrenching."―People

"A daringly sympathetic portrait of a stepmother forced to make an impossible choice."―Vanity Fair

"Fun, smart and warmhearted..."―O Magazine

"Medoff's talent for characterization is evident in her latest novel, a richly layered tale about that complicated thing called family...[Her] fully realized novel beautifully explores the most important relationships we create: as parent, as sibling, as spouse."―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Medoff produces another fallible, witty, realistic heroine with whom readers will identify. Eliot's biased and evolving narration brings the characters to life in this gripping story of personal growth. By turns hilarious and heart-wrenching, Medoff's honest writing and realistic dialogue make the book truly enjoyable, while a Sophie's Choice moment and its repercussions make it a real page-turner."―Booklist

"Every woman has one: the guy who got away. So what happens when he walks into your life again? If you were happy before-can you still make that claim? The choices we make-and the ones we don't make-form the backbone of Jillian Medoff's wonderful novel. These are characters you know, or might even have been, and their trials and tribulations are by turn devastating, hilarious, and painfully familiar."―Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Sing You Home and House Rules

"I Couldn't Love You More might look like fluffy summer fun-- and it is fun, witty, and big-hearted-- but it is also a thoughtful examination of the choices we make and the devastating prices we pay."―Jennifer Weiner, New York Times bestselling author of The Next Best Thing

"I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE is a sheer pleasure to read. Boasting clear, beautiful writing and characters who could be people I know (and love), it's a gripping story that doesn't let up. But more than that, Medoff is that rare thing, a novelist brave enough to unleash the complex, strong emotions of which literature is made."―Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man and The Astral

"The incredibly talented Jillian Medoff is one of those authors whose storytelling is so honest it feels more like truth than like fiction. Funny, wrenching, suspenseful, and smart, I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE is one of those books that stays with you long after you've finished the last page."―Lauren Grodstein, author of A Friend of the Family

"How well Jillian Medoff writes about love - familial and romantic - and how deftly she brings her heroine, Eliot, to an almost unbearably suspenseful climax. A deeply satisfying novel."―Margot Livesey, author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy and The House on Fortune Street

"I Couldn't Love You More hits the universal truths, the deepest search for identity, family and belonging. This captivating page-turner draws readers right into the intricacies of the human heart."―Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Birds of Paradise and Crescent

"The witty and (sometimes) wise heroine of I Couldn't Love You More is an unmarried wife, a mother, a step-mother, a daughter, a sister, a would-be lover and she is approaching middle age. Need I say more? Jillian Medoff has written an honest and comic novel that is unflinching and tremendous with love."―Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route

"Incisive, poignant, witty....How can a book be so harrowing and so acidly funny at the same time? I closed this addictive novel with a satisfied sigh."―Jancee Dunn, author of Why Is My Mother Getting A Tattoo? And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had To Ask

"A thoroughly involving and intimately real portrait of a blended family in crisis. Jillian Medoff takes you inside the mind of a narrator undergoing life-changing events, and the voice in her head could be yours."―Janice Erlbaum, author of Girlbomb and Have You Found Her

"Unflinching in its honesty, I Couldn't Love You More is an intimate story of contemporary family love -- with all its maddening and miraculous complexities. Jillian Medoff's writing dazzles the brain, cracks up the funny bone, and breaks open the heart. Her characters are so realistically layered, you'll sometimes want to hug them and sometimes want to shout at them, but you'll never want to forget them."―Seré Prince Halverson, author of The Underside of Joy

About the Author

Jillian Medoff attended Barnard College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU. A former fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, VCCA and Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain, Jillian has taught at NYU and the University of Georgia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 413 pages
  • Publisher: 5 Spot; 1st edition (May 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446584622
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446584623
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #637,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jillian Medoff's bitterly funny, shocking new novel, I Couldn't Love You More, will be available from Grand Central Publishing in May, 2012. She is the acclaimed author of Hunger Point and Good Girls Gone Bad, both of which received surprisingly great reviews (surprising to her). A huge seller in the US, Hunger Point was the basis for the Lifetime movie starring Barbara Hershey and Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men"). Although Jillian is proud of Hunger Point, had anyone asked, she would not have selected such a bright pink (any pink, frankly) for the trade paperback edition. Her books have been translated into many different languages, including French, Spanish, Hebrew, Turkish, Hungarian, Japanese, Polish, and German, but her big wish is for an edition in Tagalog.

The eldest daughter of a traveling salesman, Jillian moved 17 times by age 17, ultimately ending up in Atlanta, where her new novel is set. She has a BA from Barnard and an MFA from NYU, and is grateful for having studied with such luminary writers as Mona Simpson, Jonathan Dee, Robert Coover, and Alice Walker. She also attended Master Classes with Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, and Grace Paley. Although each author continues to influence her work in powerful and diverse ways, she suspects few of them, if any, remember her. A former fellow at the MacDowell Colony, Blue Mountain Center, VCCA and Fundacion Valparaiso in Spain, Jillian taught at NYU and the University of Georgia, but for only, like, five minutes.

You can read more about her books at She currently lives in New York with her family, and has no plans to move anytime soon.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 500 REVIEWER on June 25, 2012
Format: Paperback
I Couldn't Love You More is author Jillian Medoff's latest novel, but the first for this reader.

I had no idea what to expect, but a cover blurb from Jodi Picoult hinted at a thoughtful, thought-provoking novel. And it was.

Thirty eight year old Eliot Gordon lives with her partner Grant and their three children. One daughter, Hilary, is Eliot and Grant's child. The other two daughters, Gail and Charlotte, are from Grant's marriage. Yes, a blended family with all it's ups - and downs.

I was drawn to Eliot from the first page. She's a warm, caring, loving mother to all three girls, treating them all equally. Charlotte at fourteen makes it very difficult to love her, but Eliot perseveres. The girls' biological mother is a bit of a flake and Eliot is a calming, steady rock in their lives. Grant too is a rock - a man steadfastly devoted to his partner and family.

Eliot is one of three girls herself and is also from a broken home. She's had no contact with her own father for many, many years. This has only strengthened her resolve to provide a stable home for the girls. Eliot's sisters are both quite the characters. I was a bit turned off by Sylvia at first. She's loud, brash and over the top. As the novel progressed, I have to admit that she became my favourite character, ahead of Eliot.

For midway in the novel comes a turning point. Although she is happy, there are ups and downs in Eliot's life. When Finn, an old flame from university appears, Eliot reconnects with him. This reconnection has an unforeseeable, unforgettable, unimaginable impact on Eliot, Grant and their daughters. The second half of the novel deals with the fallout from this pivotal point onwards.

Medoff touches on many subjects in I Couldn't Love You More.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Julie Lovisa VINE VOICE on May 27, 2012
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Jillian Medoff has written a completely absorbing, dramatic, and funny story laced with characters both grounded and offbeat. Eliot is the mother of one and step-mother of two daughters who is living with, but has not committed to her partner of five years, Grant. The love of her life, Finn, had moved to New York years ago without a word and Eliot has never found the closure needed to give herself to Grant, though she loves him very much. She also loves his daughters, Gail and Charlotte, and relates to them through their largely absent mother who is an artist unable to resist the pull of her work just like Eliot's mother was. When her mother invites Eliot, her sisters (including the seriously funny Sylvia), and her daughters to a beach house for a getaway, they all go expecting to have a relaxing few days near the ocean. What happens is a mother's worst nightmare as Eliot, who has reconnected with Finn, is momentarily distracted by his phone call and, as a result, is forced to make an excruciating choice.

In the aftermath, Eliot is left to examine her relationships, her family, and her love for her daughter and the two who are in her heart, but who aren't really hers to claim. She learns to accept her parents for who they are, and in the process, learns to accept herself for who she is ... a person who makes mistakes and can forgive herself. The story is extraordinarily well-written, allowing humor to show through the pain and struggle of lost love, self-doubt and recrimination, and eventual redemption. At the heart of I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE is the story of a mother who fiercely loves her family, while doubting herself and her decisions all the while. Who couldn't relate to that?
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Connie Walsh on May 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Insightful and poignant, this book is an extraordinary account of an ordinary woman and her extended family. You will easily identify with the many relationships the main character juggles - the relationship with her sisters, daughter, stepchildren, mother, and partner. A fun book to read that will stay with you. It is a must read for your book club - grab a bottle of wine and let the sharing began.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf on September 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
There were a ton of things that I loved about this book. I loved the crazy familial relationships present....especially those between Elliot and her sisters and Eliot and her mom. I loved the crazy insight into how Eliot's mind worked and what she was constantly the point that I am almost afraid to admit how much I could relate and how much less like an insane person that made me feel.

This book had me thinking constantly. And I love that about it. There were times that I really liked and had sympathy for Eliot and then there were other times that I just could not believe the things she was thinking and doing. I wanted to reach through the pages of the book and strangle her. And the worst part was that she knew what she was doing wrong and still did it!! But then haven't we all done stupid things when caught up in emotions?

Medoff's writing style is flawless and the character development phenomenal. If you want a read that will have you laughing, crying, cursing and cheering until the very end...I Couldn't Love You More is a must read.

NOTE: Book received from publisher in exchange for an honest review
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Marisa Little on June 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jillian Medoff's latest novel is her best work yet! It is a thoroughly engaging work that presents an emotionally honest and keenly observed look at what it means to be a mother, a spouse, a sister, a daughter and a friend in our modern age.

We experience the inner turmoil of the protagonist, Eliot, as she strives to achieve balance in her life between the (often impossible) demands of her family, her work and her daily responsibilities as a parent. But Medoff takes us further, into the realm of unhealthy desire and unrequited fixation... and then into unspeakable tragedy. And, finally, redemption.

And yet, through it all, Medoff imbues Eliot with a clever sense of humor and a well-developed sense of the absurd. And that is the part of the book that stays with you long afterward. Believe me, you need to get this book and read it, savor it, and read it again.
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