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Kelly Braffet Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Josie and Jack (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Last Seen Leaving (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Save Yourself (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Unwilling (2020) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kelly Braffet is a literary author best known for writing several bestselling titles such as “Save Yourself,” “Josie and Jack” and “Last Seen Leaving.” Her work has been featured in “Post Road the Fairy Tale Review” and several other short story collections. Braffet went to Columbia University and Lawrence College and now lives with Owen King her author husband in New York. Since she has a child, when she is not writing she spends much of her time doing mom stuff such as laundry and retrieving and getting boxes delivered. When she has some free time she loves to watch TV shows, run, go rock climbing, play video games and read.

Kelly always knew that she wanted to become an author. She grew up in rural Arizona, where she did not have many children to play with. At a time when the internet was not a thing and TV had pretty much two channels, it was either play in the tumbleweeds or read a book and she chose the latter most of the time. As a child, she read almost anything she could find and even though her parents had no interest in books, they supported her and took her to bookstores and libraries just to indulge her. When she went to college and then decided to study fiction writing for her graduate studies, most of her friends tried to discourage her as they did not see a future in a writing career. Braffet also had her doubts and it was not until she was doing her masters that she thought of herself as an author. In fact, she went to grad school as she believed it was the perfect place to find a community of engaged and aspiring authors. Having lived all her life in which everyone had told her that a writing career was a pipe dream, her whole world opened up when she was surrounded by people who loved and believed in writing. When she sold her first novel “Josie and Jack” in 2005, her father was the first to congratulate her though he told her he never thought she would find the success that fast.

Kelly Braffet was inspired to pen her first novel “Josie and Jack” a few months into her graduate studies. During this time she was reading a lot of crime classic that she got on Broadway for a dollar. The debut novel was particularly inspired by “His World, Then the Fireworks” by Jim Thompson that told a creepy story of a sister-brother relationship. Kelly soon wrote a short story on a brother and sister as con artists but never got to publish it. The siblings stuck in her mind and she would recreate them in her debut as Josie and Jack Raeburn. Unlike other authors, publishing was not an uphill task as she never had to deal with pitching to editors and getting rejected multiple times. She was lucky to attend the Columbia University MFA program where she was fast friends with Laura Grodstein the author. By the time they graduated, Grodstein had signed with Julie Barer and the three hung out a lot socially. As such, when she wanted to publish her debut, she first asked Julie and in a few months, she published “Josie and Jack.”

Braffet writes novels that are never cautious, safe or comfortable as they stick in your brain and get under the skin. Most of her novels are about people in a kind of struggle in which they have limited options. Unlike many authors, she does not conform to preconceived notions of what her work should be or is. For the most part, her novels share a few characteristics; they are an exploration of the society through the lesser-thans, the pariahs and the downtrodden, by showing how these characters react to their circumstances. The reason for this is probably because she asserts that she gets inspiration from all manner of sources rather than being influenced by one or several authors or mediums. Kelly asserts that she finds inspiration and has been influenced by every newspaper, magazine, and book she has read and every train trip she has taken looking out the window, every walk she had taken and movie she has ever watched. It is also every restaurant she ever ate in, every city she visited and every video game she plays. She does believe that her wide range of experiences is what results in interesting notions and ideas that she stews in her brain and then distills into her novels.

Braffet’s first novel “Josie and Jack” is a suspenseful and deliciously dark novel that tells the creepy story of two siblings. The inseparable, brilliant and beautiful Jack and Josie Raeburn live an anarchic and secluded existence in their run-down home in Pennsylvania. The only relative they have is their father, a physicist who drives them away with his erratic behavior and bouts of rage. Now that they have no moral compass, they are welcomed into a world full of betrayal, eroticism and wealth. Jack’s sociopathic tendencies soon come to the fore and Josie has to make a choice between her will to survive and the devotion and love she feels for her sibling and only relative who cares for her. Right from the first page to the explosive conclusion, it is a hugely entertaining and compulsively readable Gretel and Hansel story.

“Last Seen Leaving” by Kelly Braffet is set twenty years since Anne Cassidy became a widow after her husband was killed in an air crash. He used to work for a small airline operator known as Western Mountain Airlines as a pilot. During the time he worked for the company, he used to be away for long periods of time and never spoke of his assignments. Anne always assumed that he worked for some covert intelligence agency such as Homeland Security. But it is probable that he was working some dangerous missions as a mercenary. When the crash happened, no one at Western can give a good answer to Ann as his body supposedly lies under the sea. But two decades later, Anne’s daughter goes missing and she suspects that is happening all over again. Their relationship had been strained since the death of her father and now that she is an adult, their estrangement had become complete. She had tried everything but each attempt only made things worse. Now all they do is talk for a few moments on the phone but then Anne cannot reach Miranda and becomes worried about. When she goes to see her at her apartment she finds her missing and no one has seen her for at least two months.

Kelly Braffet’s “Save Yourself” is a story of two families that are suffering the consequences of the crimes committed by their fathers. The patriarch of the Cusimano family has killed a child and made Patrick and Mike pariahs in their hometown of Ratchetsburg. Their father is in jail and Patrick has to work at a convenience store taking the midnight shift. In the meantime, Caro his brother’s girlfriend has become too close to him that what they have is no longer just friendship. Complicating things is the fact that a Goth teenager named Layla Elshere wants to become his friend yet he does not trust her or her reasons. The temptations between Layla and Caro are driving him insane and he sees no end in sight. Meanwhile, Verna, who is the sister to Layla is being bullied by her classmates for her fundamentalist parents and her strange name. Verna is inevitably drawn to Layla’s group of misfits and outcasts only to find herself in a far darker world than she expected. Kelly writes rich and strong character on the path to find peace and in doing so tells a dark and unnerving story that is shockingly honest.

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