New York Times Bestselling Author
Award Winning Novelist
Travels from: Massachusetts

“To write about those oldest of subjects—families, their secrets, their betrayals—and make them not only new but revelatory, it takes an absolute master of storytelling. How lucky for all of us that we have Jacquelyn Mitchard on the job! She writes, as always, with empathy, humor, and grace. This book is a scandalous delight.” — Rebecca Makkai, New York Times bestselling author of The Great Believers, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

Jacquelyn Mitchard is the New York Times bestselling author of 23 novels for adults and teenagers, and the recipient of Great Britain’s Talkabout prize, The Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson awards, and named to the short list for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was the inaugural selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, with more than 3 million copies in print in 34 languages. It was later adapted into a major feature film starring Michelle Pfeiffer. Her novel Still Summer has also been adapted for a film still in production and her teen trilogy The Midnight Twins, is in development for a limited series by Kaleidoscope Entertainment. Her essay collection, The Rest of Us: Dispatches from the Mother Ship, was drawn from her newspaper column syndicated by Tribune Media. Mitchard’s essays also have been published in magazines worldwide, widely anthologized, and incorporated into school curricula. She served on the Fiction jury for the 2003 National Book Awards and was editor-in-chief of Merit Press, a Young Adult imprint under the aegis of Simon and Schuster.

A Chicago native, Mitchard grew up the daughter of a plumber and a hardware store clerk who met as rodeo riders. She is a Distinguished Fellow at the Ragdale Foundation and a DeWitt Clinton Readers Digest Fellow at the MacDowell Colony. She has taught in MFA program for Creative Writing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Miami University of Ohio and Western New England University and was a speechwriter for former U.S. Rep. and Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala. An avid Italian cook, she lives on Cape Cod with her husband and their nine children. Her newest novel, A Very Inconvenient Scandal, the story of Frankie Attleboro, an acclaimed young underwater photographer reeling from her mother’s shocking death, whose famous marine biologist father shatters the family by marrying Frankie’s best friend, is out from Mira/HarperCollins.

Jacquelyn's Featured Titles

A Very Inconvenient Scandal: A novel


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard comes a page-turning family drama that explores the emotional consequences of loyalty, deception and jealousy.

Stunned by her recently widowed father’s reckless behavior, a young woman must learn to navigate a new world—where the people she should trust the most have become strangers she cannot trust at all.

Frankie Attleboro returns home to Cape Cod with thrilling news. She’s met the love of her life, and they’re getting married with a baby on the way. That’s the moment her father makes his own jaw-dropping announcement: at sixty, he’s getting married as well, to Frankie’s best friend, Ariel, who is also pregnant, and due soon.

As Frankie and Ariel struggle to adjust to their new relationship, Ariel’s estranged mother, Carlotta, returns after a decade-long absence. She claims to be a changed woman—but is she really? And where has she been all these years? Frankie is suspicious, and as Carlotta’s unpredictable behavior intensifies, Frankie must untangle the threads of the past to protect Ariel’s future—and her own.

The Good Son: A Novel


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Mitchard comes the gripping, emotionally charged novel of a mother who must help her son after he is convicted of a devastating crime.

What do you do when the person you love best becomes unrecognizable to you? For Thea Demetriou, the answer is both simple and agonizing: you keep loving him somehow.

Stefan was just seventeen when he went to prison for the drug-fueled murder of his girlfriend, Belinda. Three years later, he’s released to a world that refuses to let him move on. Belinda’s mother, once Thea’s good friend, galvanizes the community to rally against him to protest in her daughter’s memory. The media paints Stefan as a symbol of white privilege and indifferent justice. Neighbors, employers, even some members of Thea’s own family turn away.

Meanwhile Thea struggles to understand her son. At times, he is still the sweet boy he has always been; at others, he is a young man tormented by guilt and almost broken by his time in prison. But as his efforts to make amends meet escalating resistance and threats, Thea suspects more forces are at play than just community outrage. And if there is so much she never knew about her own son, what other secrets has she yet to uncover—especially about the night Belinda died?

Still Summer

Grand Central Publishing |
Literary Fiction

Secure your life preserver. Tie yourself to the mast. It’s late August, but it’s still summer, and Jacquelyn Mitchard is taking you on a thrill ride you won’t forget.

Mitchard made her mark in the literary world in 1996 when The Deep End of the Ocean was chosen as the first pick for Oprah Winfrey’s now-legendary book club. Since then, she has written six other novels, but none matches the suspenseful pitch of Still Summer.

It’s a tale of terror on the high seas, but this is no Pirates of the Caribbean wannabe.

Readers know something terrible is going to happen, but Mitchard ratchets up the suspense by allowing her story to unfold at a leisurely pace. She painstakingly fleshes out her characters, because as readers will discover, their temperaments and personalities are as crucial to the story as the mounting disasters.

Tracy Kyle, Holly Solvig and Olivia Montefalco, lifelong friends in their early 40s, charter a yacht and two-man crew for a sailing vacation that will take them from St. Thomas to Grenada.

The trip starts out as an innocent adventure in paradise until two accidents in quick succession strand the women without their crew. What else can go wrong? In a word, everything. The engine conks out, the sails are torn, lack of electricity spoils their food and limits their drinking water – and then there’s the injury to Holly’s leg.

Nature’s fury, murderous drug dealers and, possibly most deadly of all, their own frailties and secrets are added to the list.

Readers will wring their hands with frustration, weep with sadness and second-guess the choices these women make. But since characters must do the bidding of the authors who create them, we can only sit back – or sit on the edge of our seats – and let Mitchard’s terror-filled tale wash over us.


How Reading and Writing Fiction Heals the World

When we read (or write) we learn about the world from the perspective of another. To fully participate in the experience is to practice comprehension, language acquisition knowledge-building, and especially, empathy. Misunderstanding cannot survive up close, and as we grow in understanding of other people, we also grow in compassion so that, potentially, the echoes reverberate in all areas of our lives and our interactions with other people. Examples of how certain books, in schools and society in general, have become a sort of cultural bond, and how the One Book program grew from this understanding.


An Unlikely Story

People often want to know how writers got their big break and I almost missed mine by a series of small accidents – such as erasing all three messages from Oprah Winfrey because I thought they were pranks and upsetting the entire staff of the Today show when I told them that I would be wearing a dark green silk suit for the show and, because I was from Wisconsin, they assumed I meant a track suit. Lighthearted discussion of near misses.



When I began writing fiction, back before everyone took writing classes and journaling was as customary as power walking, I was a widow in my late 30s with three small children who’d never taken a writing course beyond the freshman elective at the University of Illinois. My children, my siblings, and even my kid’s school principal told me I was chasing a dream no one ever achieved, giving some of the best years of my life and my children’s lives to this pursuit. I had to buck the opinions of those who had my welfare at heart to complete my first novel, working late at night after my job was finished and my children were asleep. Perseverance, believing in your potential rather than your ego, in any setting.



My path has been rags to riches to rags to better rags! When I went through the experience of financial devastation after my husband trusted a scammer with everything we had, I was filled with bitterness and rage, toward him, toward fate … I had to overcome those destructive emotions to be able to write again and some (many) people thought that I should leave this marriage and take a new path, getting a sensible job rather than trying to rebuild a writing career. Indeed, I’m still rebuilding, but the lessons of love, compassion and yes – a certain shock at learning who my friends really were – have been instructive in building my life’s barometer.


From Real Life

Where does a writer get ideas? A discussion about stories, including some of my own, the inspiration for which came from real-life events and people, although they would never recognize themselves in the eventual narrative. I would discuss the perils and rewards of drawing inspiration from real life events, how others have done it wisely.


A Community of Readers

Oprah Winfrey arguably started the “book club movement” in American society, more than 25 years ago and in doing so, acknowledged the importance of stories as a mainstay of culture, and the importance of “gossiping about books” as a linchpin of our emotional connection and health. Examples of how a community of readers sustained people in the darkest and brightest parts of their lives and how a reading-discussion “habit” can be as essential to our well-being as an exercise routine.



Every bad thing that has ever happened to me in my life can be traced directly to second-guessing my own instincts. Each of us has a potent weapon for self-protection, literal and emotional, in acknowledging the voice within that tells us what to trust and whom to trust. Discussion of learning about personal security through an examination of instinct and its irreplaceable role in our lives, and how I learned about it through a great friend of mine who is the world’s most acknowledged expert on security.


Your Favorite Book

I’ve asked many other authors and readers what their favorite book is and have had some surprises. There are reasons beyond the circumstances and the story and the writing that go into our consideration of the most important book in each of our lives. A discussion of those factors, as well as the favorite books of some of the most important authors of our time, such as Jodi Picoult, Karen Dionne, Scott Turow, and others. Includes what my own lifelong favorite book is, and why.


How to Make Your Book Club Better

It’s more than just the quality of the spinach puffs. A guide to enhancing your book club’s experience through easy but powerful activities, to really discussing a book, including interactive experiences such as each book club member assigned to identify with a particular character in a story and fully examine that character’s motivations from within, a “clue hunt” for objects or words that explain the importance of a book’s themes and significance.

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Honors, Awards & Recognition

Women’s Prize for Fiction (short list)
The Bram Stoker Award
UK Talkabout Prize
The Shirley Jackson Award
The American Library Certificate of Distinction
The Heartland Prize for Fiction

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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