Ash Wednesday

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2002 - Fiction - 240 pages
33 Reviews
From the actor, director, and writer Ethan Hawke: a piercing novel of love, marriage, and renewal.

Jimmy is AWOL from the army, but—with characteristic fierceness and terror—he’s about to embark on the biggest commitment of his life. Christy is pregnant with Jimmy’s child, and she’s determined to head home, with or without Jimmy, to face up to her past and prepare for the future. Somehow, barreling across America from Albany to New Orleans to Ohio and Texas in a souped-up Chevy Nova, Christy and Jimmy are transformed from passionate but conflicted lovers into a young family on a magnificent journey.

Ash Wednesdayis a novel of blazing emotion and remarkable grace, a tale that captures the intensity—the excitement, fear, and joy—of being on the threshold of the mysterious country of marriage and parenthood. Powerful, assured, large of heart, and punctuated by moments of tremendous humor, it represents, for Hawke the novelist, a major leap forward.

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I think he is a very intelligent writer. - Goodreads
It would disappoint me if he were a shitty writer. - Goodreads
It's almost like he's a completely different writer. - Goodreads
The novel, and the writing, rang true for me. - Goodreads
That is a true testament to how real the writing is. - Goodreads
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While this is a book about a young couple in love, it had some poignant insights into what makes for love in a marriage:
Excerpt from a novel by Ethan Hawke. This scene takes place between a bride
and her best friend right before the wedding.
“What’s it like [marriage]?” I asked,
“I’ll tell you later.” She grinned secretively. “How’s my lipstick?”
“Tell me now, “I demanded.
“It’s utter agony,” she said, in complete earnestness. “You will give all you have to give, and it won’t be enough. You will resent him and feel he has single-handedly ruined your life, and—worse than that—you will be correct.” She flipped the veil around in her hands and move toward me. “He will resent you and take all your gifts for granted. For the life of you, you will not be able to remember how you could’ve fallen in love with this lazy self-absorbed creep. At night you will cry from loneliness, just as you have your whole life, only now someone will be lying in bed right beside you and that kind of loneliness is ten times worse than anything you’ve ever know before.” She paused to let you a deep sigh and continued. “And then one Christmas you’ll be driving slowly through a snowstorm, both of you not speaking ‘cause you’re petrified the car is gonna slide off the road, but you’ll make it home. You’ll start laughing and kissing, and then you’ll realize that all this time while you’ve been grouch and complaining you haven’t actually looked him in the eye, and when you do you’ll recognize the best friend you’ve ever know and you won’t be able to believe that all this time he was sitting right beside you.”

Review: Ash Wednesday

User Review  - Erik - Goodreads

I'd go 3.5 stars if I could. While this one wasn't as engaging as Hawke's THE HOTTEST STATE, the characters' honesty in their stories was once again impressive. Read full review

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Love on the Run (
'Ash Wednesday' by Ethan Hawke. Reviewed by Jennifer Howard. Sunday, August 18, 2002; Page BW04. ASH WEDNESDAY By Ethan Hawke Knopf. 221 pp. $22.95 ... ac2/ wp-dyn?pagename=article& node=& contentId=A24420-2002Aug15& notFound=true

Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke
Ash Wednesday is the stunning new novel by Ethan Hawke. Read an interview with Ethan Hawke and an extract from the new book. ashwednesday.asp

Bibliofemme: Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke
Ash Wednesday is the story of a hapless couple - she's pregnant, he's AWOL from the US Army - on a road trip to Texas. It is told in the first-person voices ... others/ ashwednesday.shtml - ASH WEDNESDAY by Ethan Hawke
After finishing ASH WEDNESDAY I've decided that I'll be looking for Ethan Hawke's latest at the local cineplex rather than on the shelves of my favorite ... reviews/ 037541326X.asp

bookpage Interview July 2002: Ethan Hawke
He's back with a second novel, Ash Wednesday, six years after delivering The ... Ash Wednesday is told in the alternating first-person voices of Jimmy and ... 0207bp/ ethan_hawke.html

Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke (I’m in awe) « ~A Wandering Mind ...
I have been re-reading Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke recently and just wanted to share some thoughts on it. It’s an amazing story of two young lovers ... 2008/ 04/ 03/ ash-wednesday-by-ethan-hawke-im-in-awe/ - Books About Ash Wednesday
The King, Crucified and Risen : Meditations on the Passion and Glory of Christ, Daily Readings From Ash Wednesday to Div by Fr Benedict Groeschel ... tabid/ 57/ listid/ 11306/ Religion/ Books+About+Ash+Wednesday.aspx

Ethan Hawke sells his second novel | Ash Wednesday | Between the ...
The actor has sold his second novel, a romantic road story called ''Ash Wednesday,'' for a reported mid six figures to Knopf. ... ew/ article/ 0,,91155,00.html

identity theory | interviews | ethan hawke
Hawke has recently directed Chelsea Walls and has written two novels, The Hottest State and his latest, Ash Wednesday. He lives in New York with his wife ... people/ birnbaum59.html

OFF THE SHELF: "Ash Wednesday" - Culture
OFF THE SHELF: "Ash Wednesday", ... Ash Wednesday Ethan Hawke Alfred A. Knopf $22.95. Jimmy Heartsock thought joining the army would be a blast- kill a lot ... news/ 2002/ 09/ 16/ Culture/ Off-The.Shelf.ash.Wednesday-274471.shtml

About the author (2002)

An Academy Award nominated actor for his work in TRAINING DAY, an Academy Award nominated writer for the BEFORE SUNSET screenplay and a Tony Award nominated actor for his work on stage in THE COAST OF UTOPIA, Ethan Hawke has uniquely established a successful career acting on film and on stage, as a novelist, a screenwriter and a director.In film, Hawke was last seen in Richard Linklater’s FAST FOOD NATION. Some of his other film credits include EXPLORERS (which marked his acting debut), DEAD POETS SOCIETY, DAD, WHITE FANG, ALIVE, REALITY BITES, BEFORE SUNSET and the sequel BEFORE SUNRISE, GATTACA, GREAT EXPECTATIONS, HAMLET, and TRAINING DAY.Ethan Hawke’s novels THE HOTTEST STATE and ASH WEDNESDAY are both available from Vintage. Hawke recently directed the film version of THE HOTTEST STATE. He will also make his Off Broadway directing debut in the fall of 2007 with Jonathan Marc Sherman’s dark comedy play, THINGS WE WANT.

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