One's Company: A Novel (Paperback)
Expectations exceeded tenfold. The seemingly quirky premise--woman wins lottery and recreates the Three's Company universe alone on a secluded mountain--could have gone a number of ways, and it's with great pleasure that I report back from the depths of Ashley Hutson's debut novel a little breathless. ONE'S COMPANY is a strange and thoughtful examination of the perils and pratfalls of unresolved trauma; main character Bonnie Lincoln an object lesson in how unchecked depression can and will trick one’s brain into believing warped narratives about one’s own existence. Comparisons to Ottessa Moshfegh seem to be a dime a dozen, but they actually feel warranted here. There are shades of both the unnamed narrator of MY YEAR OF REST AND RELAXATION and Eileen in Bonnie Lincoln. But make no mistake: ONE'S COMPANY is very much its own glorious, darkly compelling thing. This one gets a permanent spot on the keeper shelf.— From Kerry H.'s Picks
July 2022 Indie Next List
“Where do I even begin? An original and poignant story of obsession, trauma and the desire to escape into another reality as a means of survival. This is one of the most bonkers books I’ve ever read, and one of my favorite books of 2022.”
— Gael LeLamer, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
One of BuzzFeed's Must-Read Summer Books
For readers of Ottessa Moshfegh and Mona Awad, this fearless debut chronicles one woman’s escape into a world of obsessive imagination.
Bonnie Lincoln just wants to be left alone. To come home from work, shut out the ghosts of some devastating losses, and unwind in front of the nostalgic, golden glow of her favorite TV show, Three’s Company.
When Bonnie wins the lottery, a more grandiose vision—to completely shuck off her own troublesome identity—takes shape. She plans a drastic move to an isolated mountain retreat where she can re-create the iconic apartment set of Three’s Company and slip into the lives of its main characters: no-nonsense Janet Wood, pleasantly airheaded Chrissy Snow, and confident Jack Tripper. While her best friend, Krystal, tries to drag her back to her old life, Bonnie is determined to transcend pain, trauma, and the baggage of her past by immersing herself in the ultimate binge-watch.
About the Author
Ashley Hutson is a writer living in rural Maryland. Her work has appeared in Granta, Electric Literature, Catapult, Fanzine, and elsewhere. Her honors include the 2018 Small Fictions Award, judged by Aimee Bender, and several Pushcart Prize nominations.
Joyfully weird... Like many sitcoms, this novel balances lightness, humor and love with moments of darkness and even horror... Who among us has never longed to escape into a TV show, a movie, a written story, to live in it at least temporarily? One’s Company, delightfully odd and beautifully written, is a pleasure to read.
— Claire Kohda - New York Times Book Review
This novel hooked me from the very first line... Hutson’s prose is both simple and captivating, containing nuggets of wisdom that peek into the complexity of humanity.
— Farrah Penn - Buzzfeed
One of my favorite books of the year... [One's Company] is wildly original, and clever, and stunningly sad. It’s an excellent look at trauma and loneliness and American culture and excess.
— Liberty Hardy - "All the Books" Podcast
[An] affecting and ingenious debut... This darkly clever work dramatizes the necessity and fragility of illusions, showing how they can crumble when broadcast to the world. Hutson is off to a brilliant start.
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[Ashley] Hutson is far too smart...to turn Bonnie into an easy case study on the effects of trauma...Hutson’s prose, too, is as cleareyed and convincing as the novel’s premise is farcical...Looks at trauma, wealth, and infatuation through a startlingly original lens.
— Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
[An] engaging debut… There's much to appreciate in Hutson's deft exploration of the toll trauma takes as well as both the lure and dangers of disappearing into a fantasy world.
This book is such a savvy, deadpan, moving meditation-unto-absurdity on obsession and trauma and throwaway television and the ways that our hobbies can hurt us and heal us and sometimes overwhelm us. I absolutely loved it.
— Amber Sparks, author of And I Do Not Forgive You
Like some uncanny hybrid of Tom McCarthy, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Mulholland Drive, Ashley Hutson’s high concept black comedy, One’s Company, packs deranged laughs against deep trauma in a no-holds-barred debut. Surreal, ambitious, and page-turning, the painful memory performance of Bonnie Lincoln’s wish to live forever in a sitcom might be more realistic than the realism we think we know.
— Blake Butler, author of Alice Knott
Ashley Hutson’s novel fearlessly takes on trauma, loneliness, madness, and desire in wholly unexpected ways. The dazzling imagination of the novel’s formidable protagonist, Bonnie Lincoln, is rivaled only by that of her brilliant creator: One’s Company is a totally original, bitterly funny, and emotionally complex tale about the power of fantasy to both save and destroy the things we cherish.
— Maryse Meijer, author of The Seventh Mansion