From New York Times Notable Author Mary-Beth Hughes


A break out new novel following a family in the aftermath of love and disgrace in 1970s London, New York, and the Jersey Shore.


the loved ones


Nationally bestselling author Mary-Beth Hughes returns with a darkly brilliant Mad Men–esque drama of family secrets and professional lies reminiscent of Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road and James Salter’s Light Years.

From the outside in, the Devlin family lead almost-perfect lives. Dashing father, Nick, is a successful businessman long married to sweetheart Jean, who upholds the family home and throws dinner parties while daughter Lily attends Catholic school and is disciplined into modesty by the nuns. Under the surface, however, the Devlins are silently broken by the death of their little boy. As Nick’s older brother, a man driven by callous and rapacious urges, inducts Nick into the cut-throat world of cosmetics, the Devlin family are further fragmented by betrayals, and victims of the cruelest kind of hurt.

In The Loved Ones Hughes takes her gimlet eye deep into the secret places between men and women to give an incisive portrayal of one family’s struggle to stay together against stacked odds of deception, adultery, and loss. Years in the making, this is Hughes’s astonishing and compulsively readable break out, a sweepingly cinematic novel of relationships defined by an era of glamour and decadence.

Departures of all kinds—by air, by ocean, by illness, by alienation, by death—lead the characters to circle one another as though in an entranced dance…. Hughes is a master of understatement, and deftly captures the subtle undercurrent of family life and the danger from the ever-changing world in the 1970s.
— Yiyun Li, author of Kinder Than Solitude
Sexual currents surge as a bruised but glamorous couple strive to go on ‘making life gorgeous’ after the death of their young son. Underhanded transactions and self-serving characters threaten these ambitions, and the privileged life in New York and London, late sixties, is not without its costs. Hughes writes with stunning economy: fully realized characters are made with a stroke in this most seductive, irresistible fiction.
— Christine Schutt, author of Prosperous Friends
A beautiful new voice in fiction.
Time Out New York
A writer of dexterity and imagination.
New York Times Book Review
Hughes keeps her prose close to her characters’ thoughts, and doles out the most crucial information on the sly. . . . [Her] careful but unobtrusive organization gives even the saddest revelations . . . an air of the miraculous.
New Yorker