Now a USA Today Bestseller! A sparkingly witty, poignant debut novel that is a Bright Lights, Big City for a post-Reagan, pre-Y2K Philadelphia—for readers of Normal People, Sweetbitter, Modern Lovers, and Less.
It’s September 1987. Charlie Green is an eighteen-year-old romantic and aspiring alcoholic, whose great wish is to fall in love with a light-eyed girl on his first day of college and never look back. Charlie believes in the magic of bars and girls. He believes he can use these talismans to finally feel at home, an assurance his dim and privileged childhood did not provide. At the Sansom Street Oyster House, he meets Paula Henderson, a beautiful and deceptively soulful waitress who is the most overqualified bar maid in all the city—and perhaps the most alluring.
But there are obstacles in the Philly night between Charlie and his full heart. Drunks, louts, boyfriends—heroes too. And in Paula’s eyes, Charlie becomes one. When she takes him home to New Hope, PA, to meet her very Catholic mother, the young couple must contend with the consequences of their pure love.
In this darkly comedic coming-of-age novel, Charlie Green needs to grow up fast. At stake is his soul.
By Daniel Roberts. Hardcover. 320 pages. Published by Archie, 2021.