The Damages

Penguin Random House

Out Now! (July 2023)

Sharp and propulsive, The Damages is an engrossing novel set in motion by the disappearance of a student during an ice storm, and explores themes of memory, trauma, friendship, and identity.

What I remember best about that week in January is trying to keep track of all the lies I told.

1997: For Ros, starting university at Regis is an opportunity for reinvention—a chance to be seen as interesting, to be accepted by the in-crowd, and maybe even get a boyfriend. But when she meets her roommate, Megan, with her pleated jeans and horse-print bedding, she sees her as a social liability. Outside of their dorm room, Ros distances herself from Megan and quickly befriends the cool kids, seeking status at all costs. Just after winter break, an intense ice storm hits campus, triggering a reckless, days-long dorm party, during which Megan goes missing. Ros is blamed for the incident and abruptly dropped by her social circle, casting a shadow over the next two decades of her life.

2020: Ros’s former partner, Lukas, the father of her eleven-year-old son, is accused of a sexual assault. The accusation brings new details of an old story to light, forcing Ros to revisit a dark moment from her past. Ros must take a hard look not only at the father of her child, but also at her own mistakes, her own trauma, and at the supposed liberal period she grew up in.

The Damages is a page-turning, thought-provoking novel about the lies we tell other people and the lies we tell ourselves.

Catch My Drift

Goose Lane Editions, 2018

“With rare insight and great sensitivity, Genevieve Scott’s Catch My Drift tells the story of a family through the small but significant moments that make up their lives.  As the years unfold Scott traces lines of estrangement and connection, and composes an affecting portrait of motherhood and daughterhood.  These characters will linger in your memory, because they feel so real, so true, and so richly observed.”— Alix Ohlin, author of Inside

“Scott harnesses the flinty realism and breathtaking prose of short fiction, mixes it with the emotional urgency and scope of a layered intergenerational drama and creates a compelling and thoroughly original portrait of the modern family. Rendered with sensitivity and insight, Catch My Drift is elegant, ambitious and tender, a rare novel in which an entire family comes of age.”— Nancy Lee, author of The Age

“At the heart of this sad and moving book is a mother-daughter story that feels as real as anything I’ve read for long time.” — Cary Fagan, author of A Bird’s Eye

“Like the best swimming novels, CATCH MY DRIFT is not really about swimming at all. Rather, Lorna (the protagonist adrift) uses swimming to imbue her life with meaning and purpose. She ties her identity to her sport in the same way her daughter later looks to tennis — its discipline, its structure, its external validation — to tell her who she is. In Lorna’s struggles with marriage, motherhood, infidelity, and heartbreak, Genevieve Scott explores life’s biggest existential questions in deceptively effortless prose. Despite the best laid plans, rather than swimming to glory, Lorna ends up piecing together a life from a one night stand. Scott has created a vibrant, complex, and ultimately lovable family. Lorna and her drug-taking, wayward son, her tennis-playing daughter, and her philandering, cult-joining ex-husband are messed up and struggling and flawed, but I fell head-over-heels for them and rooted for them every page of the way. Like Caroline Adderson’s Ellen and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, Scott’s Lorna is achingly human and fully alive on the page. Scott’s debut fiction is raw and real and packed with wisdom. I happily devoured CATCH MY DRIFT in a single sitting.” — Angie Abdou, Author of In Case I Go