The Exiles

“With beguiling wit and tenderness, and the narrative confidence of a true storyteller, Allison Lynn pulls us deep into the hearts and minds of a young couple caught up in a high-risk tangle of money, morality and mortality.”  — Hillary Jordan, author of Mudbound and When She Woke


Nate, a mid-level Wall Streeter, and his longtime girlfriend Emily are effectively squeezed out of  New York City when they find they can no longer afford their apartment. An out presents itself in the form of a job offer for Nate in Newport—complete with a small-scale and comparatively affordable new house. Eager to start fresh, they flee Manhattan with their belongings packed tightly in their Jeep. Yet within minutes of arrival in Rhode Island, the car and their belongings are stolen, and they’re left with nothing except the keys to an empty house and their bawling ten-month-old son.

Over the three-day weekend that follows, as Emily and Nate watch their meager pile of cash dwindle and tension increase, the secrets they kept from each other in the city emerge, threatening to destroy their hope for a shared future.

Published by Little A/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt  in July of 2013, The Exiles is a novel of stolen Jeeps, genetic disorder, art, architecture, pilfered hospital food, economic insecurity, and the mad grab for the American Dream. 

allison lynn novel the exiles  .

“The Exiles is better about current-day New York — and the promise of the American world outside New York — than just about anything I can remember. If books teach you how to live, read The Exiles to learn how to be a new parent, a spouse, a human being. Just read it.”  — Darin Strauss, author of Half a Life and More Than It Hurts You


“Allison Lynn’s The Exiles is a revelation, a suspenseful and indelible journey through fate, love, luck, and what it means to be a family.  It’s the sort of book I feel lucky for having read, and can’t wait to read again.”  — Lauren Grodstein, author of A Friend of the Family and The Explanation for Everything


At first glance, the ill-fated couple in Allison Lynn’s stellar new novel might seem to have what Internet wags call “first-world problems,” but scratch the surface of their stolen SUV and you’ll find the kind of longing — for friends, for family, for a warm place to call home — that’s universal. The Exiles manages the hat trick of being touching and funny and insightful, mostly about what it means when the middle class disappears. It’s a cautionary tale for the post-Lehman, post-Occupy era. ”     — Natalie Danford, author of Inheritance


“What a delight it is to read Allison Lynn’s The Exiles, a begin-de-siècle novel of New Yorkers in retreat from New York. Her sharp, consoling, hilarious story is a time capsule from a decade that is still leaving unpleasant surprises on our doorstep. Her characters are as lovely and embarrassing as our own sweet selves, and her humor and insight light the way — God, I hope so — to a better future for us all.”     — Dan Barden, author of The Next Right Thing