The Liabilities of Love by Susan Shoenberger

Publication Date: July 20, 2021

For those who enjoyedThe Interestings by Meg Wolitzer andThe Patron Saint of Liars by Ann PatchettThe Liabilities of Love is an ambitious and masterful portrayal of the complex journey of how trauma can reverberate throughout a woman’s life, the differing perspectives people have on intimacy and the unintended consequences and risks of falling in love. As Kirkus Reviews notes in their starred review, it’s a “novel that explores how societal expectations can make people hide their true selves.” Following the death of her beloved mother, Margaret Carlyle heads to a local college in 1979 hoping to find love and acceptance in this new setting. Assaulted on her first date by a charismatic peer Anders, she wants nothing more than to forget it ever happened. But as the years pass, each life decision she makes seems driven by what happened that night until she realizes she must face her past head-on. This deeply moving novel is a window into class and privilege, the mysteries of marriage, and the destructive power of secrets―and an examination of what happens when we try to bury the past, as well as the consequences of confronting it. 

  • “In matter-of-fact prose studded with pithy observational gems. . . the various players can only get what they deserve by speaking their own truths. A keenly observed, compassionate, and absorbing work.”Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review
  • “A poignant tale of love, loss, and secrets, The Liability of Love is a heart-wrenching, compassionate portrayal of survival–of what happens when old wounds are left untended, when quiet pain refuses to stay silent any longer, and when we allow ourselves a second chance. Gorgeously written; Susan Schoenberger has crafted a story that will remain with you long after you turned the last page.” Amber Smith, New York Times best-selling author of The Way I Used to Be

 About the Author: Susan Schoenberger is the award-winning author of A Watershed Year and The Virtues of Oxygen. With a linotypist as a grandfather, she has ink in her blood and worked as a journalist and copyeditor for many years, including The Baltimore Sun and 12 years with The Hartford Courant. She currently serves as Director of Communications at Hartford Seminary, a graduate school with a focus on interfaith dialogue. She lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, with her husband Kevin. They have three grown children and a small dog named Leo. Learn more at

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