LISTEN TO ME is a quiet, revelatory novel that exposes the inner workings of a marriage...
— Ada Limon, "The Books We Loved in 2016," THE NEW YORKER

A New York Times Book Review "Editors' Choice"
A The Millions Most Anticipated Book
A Lit Hub Buzz Book
An Entertainment Weekly “Seriously Scary Summer Read”

A Washington Post “Best Summer Thriller”


Mark and Maggie's annual drive east to visit family has gotten off to a rocky start. By the time they're on the road, it's late, a storm is brewing, and they are no longer speaking to one another. Adding to the stress, Maggie — recently mugged at gunpoint — is lately not herself, and Mark is at a loss about what to make of the stranger he calls his wife. When they are forced to stop for the night at a remote inn, completely without power, Maggie's paranoia reaches an all-time and terrifying high. But when Mark finds himself threatened in a dark parking lot, it’s Maggie who takes control.

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You won’t put this story down... Pittard is operating at a level few writers attain. [She] deserves the attention of anyone in search of today’s best fiction.
— The Washington Post
LISTEN TO ME elides so many genres that it’s Houdini-like, bursting through constraints. It moves between its two characters’ inner lives as effortlessly as an Olympic swimmer strokes through water.
— Ann Beattie, The Paris Review
Pittard proves herself a master of ordinary suspense... Unlike a more conventional thriller Pittard never forgets Mark and Maggie’s history. Too often, in stories like this, when the man behind the curtain is revealed, his connection to the wizard we’ve already seen seems frankly impossible to believe. But here are people who know each other, who care for each other. Circumstance and time have estranged them. The road will throw them back on their own resources, turn them back into the pioneers they once were, rediscovering each other as they skirt more than one kind of storm. There may not be comfort in that rediscovery, but Pittard creates, at least, the feeling of emotional truth.
— Erica Wagner, The New York Times Book Review
We continue to love thrillers and especially love this one. In Pittard’s unconventional novel, a couple on a road trip deal with raging storms and their own fraying marriage. Sounds appropriately tense and doomy.
— Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review
New York Times Book Review

New York Times Book Review

Pittard writes her characters’ vulnerable, inappropriate, selfish, trivial, scary thoughts with cringeworthy honesty…[she] may write about the things that no one likes talking about, but readers should listen when one of her characters brings it up.
— Philly Voice
A perfect summer read…
— Louisville Courier Journal
Pittard’s fast-moving story recalls a legion of American writers from Hawthorne to McCarthy, each chronicling existential encounters framed by the wilderness and exposing the heart of darkness, both out there in the night and within the searching self.
— Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
LISTEN TO ME reminds us that even good marriages are hard work. And that the world can be a scary place, because we secretly want it to be, even need it to be. Pittard’s story is meaningful and satisfying—even if you never find out who will see you on an empty road in the middle of the night.
— The Oregonian
Mark and Maggie’s relationship is as strained as can be, fraught after Maggie’s world was shattered by a mugging at gunpoint. But when the couple goes on their annual trip, Maggie’s newfound paranoia may be the thing that saves them from certain danger. Pittard writes with a unique gusto, and you’ll be riveted the entire way through.
— Bustle Magazine, Best 10 Books of October
Thrilling and suspenseful, LISTEN TO ME digs into the ways in which the person you trust the most can fast become a stranger—forcing you to question whether you knew them at all to begin with.
— Refinery 29
Hannah Pittard’s LISTEN TO ME is a dazzling new novel with a perfectly-drawn forty-something couple on a positively Hitchcockian misadventure. As the suspense grows, their world turns darker and more menacing, threatened by violent weather and bizarre people, like the cowboy who, out of nowhere, remarks on Maggie’s appearance—or does he? By then you know you’re in for the duration, a ride into the heart of darkness, West Virginia style, where, after a night in hell and a heartbreakingly high price, they find what they’re looking for—a way out, a second chance.
— Frederick Barthelme, author of THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE
A road trip from Chicago to Virginia is transformed into a complex mental journey in Pittard’s (Reunion) third novel... Chilling events ratchet up the suspense as well as magnify the couple’s strengths and weaknesses in Pittard’s memorable examination of the precarious terrain of marriage.
— Publishers Weekly
★ The story of a fraught road trip undertaken by a couple whose marriage is under stress, Pittard’s glistening new novel (after Reunion) only seems to be in miniature. In fact, it opens up to show not just the depth and potential shattering points of all close relationships but also how danger—and, yes, evil—lurk at the outskirts of our lives, threatening to upend us unexpectedly. College professor Mark and his wife, Maggie, a veterinarian, are traveling from Chicago to his family’s East Coast home because Mark senses they need a break; after a mugging, Maggie has become brooding and suspicious, not the woman Mark married. They leave late, with Maggie intent on giving their dog, Gerome, a good walk beforehand, and they’re mostly bickering or silent as evening and tornado-grade storms approach. As Mark wrestles with thoughts of a former student and Maggie zigzags between tenderness and paranoia, a blackout descends, and they go off the beaten path to seek a place to stay. At a dark hotel, they find a bed and some real closeness, but tragedy erupts in a moment, leaving their future tentative if tentatively hopeful. VERDICT Pitch-perfect in language and ominous in mood, Pittard’s narrative telescopes enormous emotion and insight into a brief, compelling read.
— Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal (Starred Review)
Pittard skillfully alternates between the points of view of Mark and Maggie, who often tell readers much more than they’ve told one another. Perfect for those who like to observe characters’ minds and relationships from the backseat.
— Booklist
The setup of Pittard’s third novel is a simple and effective one: a cross-country journey in which an already-frayed marriage is pushed to its limit, even as the landscape through which the characters travel turns increasingly ominous... Pittard evokes the instability that can arise on the margins of catastrophic events... there’s plenty of moodiness and societal commentary to be found in [this] taut novel.
— Kirkus
Hannah Pittard’s got the goods. There’s no doubt about it. LISTEN TO ME has a way of making you uneasy from the get go. Maybe it’s the approaching storm, the dark night, all the terrible things that might be hiding around the corner. Or maybe it’s just how much the main characters, with all of their faults and scars and frustrated desires, remind us of ourselves. Regardless, this is a psychologically complex, addictive, and quick moving read. I didn’t want it to end!
— M. O. Walsh, author of MY SUNSHINE AWAY
LISTEN TO ME is the sort of novel you want to read in one sitting: suspenseful, unsettling, and beautifully written. Hannah Pittard goes into one couple’s dark night of the soul with surprising charm and wit, but also with a fierce and intelligent honesty.
— Dean Bakopoulos, author of SUMMERLONG
In LISTEN TO ME, Hannah Pittard takes the reader on a married couples’ chilling road trip. The dangers and mishaps of the physical journey provide enormous suspense but still greater are all the fears each houses within. Pittard is a gifted writer with an excellent eye for the intricate details that shape a relationship.
— Jill McCorkle, author of LIFE AFTER LIFE
Hannah Pittard’s LISTEN TO ME is a strange and wonderful book about the mysteries of coupledom and the long surreal highways of America. It’s written in a lean and elegant prose and I read these pages in one long and enthralled sitting.
— Darcey Steinke, author of SISTER GOLDEN HAIR
The story of Maggie and Mark, their fears, and their misconceptions, is told with propulsive clarity, elegance, and wit. LISTEN TO ME captures a cultural moment with stunning prescience, and Pittard’s prose reads like a memory in waiting.
— Michael Pitre, author of FIVES AND TWENTY-FIVES
An unflinching look at the tightrope walk of marriage, Hannah Pittard’s LISTEN TO ME holds a mirror up to our own twisted and hopeful idiosyncrasies. Pittard is an expert guide to the dark places of the soul, revealing how the smallest shift of balance in our fragile psyches can set off a chain of mini-detonations. But like the rain that accompanies this journey across America’s heartland, Pittard’s close empathy is a clarifying wash. This is the best kind of road trip novel: one where the tension drowns out the radio.
— Katy Simpson Smith, author of THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA