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Publisher's Summary

Seventeen-year-old Nora Holmes is an artist, a painter from the moment she could hold a brush. She inherited the skill from her grandfather, Robert, who's always nurtured Nora's talent and encouraged her to follow her passion. Still, Nora is shocked and elated when Robert offers her a gift: an all-expenses-paid summer trip to Europe to immerse herself in the craft and to study history's most famous artists. The only catch? Nora has to create an original piece of artwork at every stop and send it back to her grandfather. It's a no-brainer: Nora is in!

Unfortunately, Nora's mother, Alice, is less than thrilled about the trip. She worries about what the future holds for her young, idealistic daughter - and her opinions haven't gone unnoticed. Nora couldn't feel more unsupported by her mother, and in the weeks leading up to the trip, the women are as disconnected as they've ever been. But seconds after saying good-bye to Alice at the airport terminal, Nora hears a voice call out: "Wait! Stop! I'm coming with you!"

And...they're off.

Gilmore Girls meets 13 Little Blue Envelopes in this fun, funny, and bittersweet summer adventure from Observer writer and the hilarious voice behind @GuyInYourMFA, Dana Schwartz.

©2017 Dana Schwartz (P)2017 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"A joyous contemporary YA novel by journalist and Guy in Your MFA Twitter mastermind Dana Schwartz, And We’re Off is a tale of travel, romance, and plenty of mother-daughter banter. That this will be the first book in a long line of delightful literature from wunderkind Schwartz seems inevitable and lovely." (Vulture)

"[Schwartz] deftly mixes humor and tenderness.... This funny, whimsical tome isn't easy to put down once you start." (Rolling Stone)

"[Nora's] journey to understand who she is, both as a person and an artist, is rewarding, as is the evident love behind her grandfather’s assignments and advice." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about And We're Off

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Perfect Beach Read for the Summer

What did you love best about And We're Off?

Both the art references and internet references throughout the book are fresh and funny.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Nora was very relatable and made the story emotionally accessible.

What about Lauren Fortgang’s performance did you like?

Fortgang nailed all the accents from the Belgian tour guides to the Irish artists at the art colony.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The climax at the art gallery in Florence and the epilogue resonated the most with me.

1 person found this helpful

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Fun Mother/Daughter moments

This book was so fun to listen too and I could find the characters to be really relatable. I believe this is a book every mother and daughter should read.

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A very sweet coming of age story

Nora’s journey through Europe isn’t the kind of tale that’s completely fresh and original, but it feels less derivative than universal. Liking someone who doesn’t feel the same way. Doubting your abilities, direction, and decisions. Fighting with a parent, as much because you understand each other as because you don’t. And We’re Off is brisk, fun, and touching, and I’d recommend it as strongly to a young person contemplating their future as I would a parent trying to connect with their kids.