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Cecilia Rabess Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Everything's Fine (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Cecilia Rabess
Cecilia Rabess is a San Francisco based writer of non-fiction and fiction which is concerned with society, race, technology, and their often surprising intersections.

Cecilia’s work has been featured in FlowingData, FiveThirtyEight, the Gulf News, Fast Co., and The Bold Italic, just to name a few.

Initially, she had wanted to write a love story that she envisaged would fall somewhere between war torn lovers where somebody dies at the end and a bubblegum rom-com. She was interested in telling a story which felt nuanced and real, something that reflected our complex reality. The year she started it was 2018, two years into Trump’s presidency, when this national reckoning had begun. Particularly on the left, with people that hadn’t voted for Trump were attempting to comprehend and reconcile the country that we thought we lived in, with the country we were actually living in.

With these questions rattling around about who we really were as a country and where we were even headed, she then came across this article in New York Magazine with the headline “Donald Trump is Destroying My Marriage”. It was a series of short interviews with American couples that had opposing political views, and it sparked her novel into life. This allowed her to marry the idea of such a love story with these questions she had around class, race, identity, and politics.

Even though Jess is instantly sympathetic as a character, since she is funny, articulate, and fiercely bright, Josh is less so (and that’s putting it mildly). It meant that Cecilia had to work much harder to humanize somebody who, in her own words has some rather unfortunate takes.

Cecilia wanted readers to feel conflicted in the exact same way that Jess does, to want this relationship with Josh, to not want it, and feel bad at the same time that you want it to work.

Cecilia worked at Google as a data scientist for ten years (with the plaque and everything) but decided to quit in order to finish writing “Everything’s Fine” since she was struggling to find the time. Her co-workers were perturbed at the mere idea and tried talking her out it, asking her about being a starving artist and what she would do about health insurance? Just three days later she got taken on by an agent, which was followed by the aforementioned global scramble for rights and has since become a full time writer.

She can see parallels between being a novelist and being a data scientist. The beautiful part about statistics (which is her field of expertise) is that it’s pretty poetic in a way. It’s able to tell you things about the world which you might not have noticed, or were not able to articulate. You can run a regression and will be able to predict the future, and there is a lot of storytelling with your data.

Even though she has always loved reading and books, Cecilia chose to study maths at university. However she says she’s not naturally good at math, which means brute force was involved while studying. She has always been attracted to the idea that everything is explainable, with a formula to tell us the answer. Cecilia likes things with a clear answer, not loving ambiguity.

With that said, she reckons this novel is set to ask more questions than it’ll answer. She wants it to be a bit of a Rorschach test so readers will be able to take from it what they need or what they want. Or just see in the novel whatever they want reflected back to them, whatever perspective they see which is interesting is the one that she wants to offer them. She believes that it is more like a conversation than an actual answer to any question in particular.

“Everything’s Fine” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2023. On Jess’s very first day at Goldman Sachs, she is less than thrilled to discover that she will be on the same team as Josh, her sparring partner from college that is a white conservative. Josh loves playing the devil’s advocate and he is just the absolute worst.

However when she finds that she is the only Black woman on the floor, underestimated and overlooked, it is Josh that shows up for her in surprising, if imperfect, ways. Before too long, this unlikely friendship, one that’s tinged with undeniable chemistry, forms between them. It is a friendship that gradually, and then all of a sudden, transforms into this electrifying romance which shocks both of them.

Despite their differences, the force of their attraction propels this relationship forward, and Jess starts questioning whether or not it’s more important to be happy than it is to be right. However then it is 2016, and the political and cultural landscape shifts underneath them. And Jess, who was just starting to learn who she is and who she’s got the right to be, gets forced to ask herself what she is willing to compromise for love and whether, in fact, everything is fine.

Here is a stunning debut novel which introduces Cecilia Rabess as this blazing new talent, and this is a sharp and poignant novel which doesn’t only ask will they, but also should they?

The novel is not a straightforward love story, instead asking some thought provoking and uncomfortable questions about politics, race, and class. It is also about how complicated and messy relationships can be and how things can be negotiated up to a point, until they just cannot be any further, and where do you even draw the line?

Cecilia’s prose is spare yet clever, and she’s very funny at times as well. Her humor is tongue in cheek and dry, which fits this narrative nicely. She also builds up Jess and Josh’s relationship very well. Fans of the novel found this to be a true and real read. Once the book ends you wanted to read more about how they are still evolving because you do see real growth with these two.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Cecilia Rabess

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