top of page
community_f[27762].jpg

—Maria Semple

Author of Where’d You Go Bernadette

Sometimes we're not ready to jump. We need a little push. When Darcy Clipper — a heroine for the ages — gets a major shove, she finds herslef in a brave new world of second changes, radical decisions and transformative change. Funny, cinematic and heartfelt, COMMUNITY BOARD is a propulsive delight. 

— Christina Baker Kline

#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Exiles

New York Times bestselling author of The Last Romantics delivers a wise, timely, big-hearted novel of unplanned isolation and newly forged community — coming out March 28, 2023!

Praise
for COMMUNITY BOARD

“Conklin delivers a winning third novel, with Darcy’s smart, introspective voice at the heart of it. Her unconventional adventures (often hilarious, always interesting) drive home the importance of community and how important it is to show up and participate.”

—Booklist

"A world crumbles, and everything that can go wrong practically does so in COMMUNITY BOARD, a bittersweet, laugh-out-loud novel by Tara Conklin whose cleverness will warm the hearts of readers… COMMUNITY BOARD is a crafty send-up about one woman struggling to come to terms with—and rebuild—her battered self-esteem over four seasons in the changing landscape of a small town. Darcy may seem a poor soul, but her sharp, bright, enlightened mind--and her snarky, lovably endearing narrative voice, supplemented with zany e-mails and community posts—will easily win the affection of readers rooting wholeheartedly for her reinvention."

— Shelf Awareness

“Conklin has created a heartening look at a community whose people realize they're better together than alone.”

—Kirkus 

"Timely and hilarious! For all its madcap glory, COMMUNITY BOARD is a sweet and surprisingly plausible tale for our time."

—Jonathan Evison

New York Times bestselling author of Small World

 

 

"Oh, how I loved this delighful, unputdownable novel! A pitch-perfect comedy of manners, a balm for difficult times, a charming of age story, COMMUNITY BOARD is ultimately hte literary equivalent of a warm hug." 

—Joanna Rakoff

Bestselling author of My Salinger Year 

“Tara Conklin’s brilliance jumps from the pages of this quirky delicious delight. I loved every second of this fabulous take on community and the on-line board that unites them.”

—Jane L. Rosen, author of Eliza Starts a Rumor

"I can't believe how good this book is! Tara Conklin once again dazzles with a hilarious, heartfelt, and wholly original tale. She writes about depression and grief with such a light touch and her mesmerizing sentences immediately draw you into this quirky and fun community — one I was sad to leave behind. Read this! 

Etaf Rum

New York Times bestselling author of A Woman is No Man

Bookseller Reviews

“I have not had this much fun since reading WHERE'D YOU GO, BERNADETTE. Tara Conklin has gifted us with a fun, quirky novel on what happens when your life unexpectedly gets upended and you have to find your way back to living. COMMUNITY BOARD represents each of us as we get knocked down and have to pick up the pieces in order to carry on. Add a Community Board where odd and bizarre messages get posted (think your Next Door Neighbor App), neighbors causing trouble, spy drones, missing pets, and parents that have sneaked off to Arizona to live. Darcy's life may sound a disaster, but there's a lot that's going right. This book is a pure gem.”

—Marilyn Robbins, The Bookies Bookstore LTD, Denver

 

“I have read Tara's other book and loved them. This is nothing like it. I absolutely could not put this down! It is laugh out loud funny, quick paced and delightful! We need more funny in the world and this was just what I needed this weekend. Incorporating messages from one of those community pages, making our lives seem almost ridiculous we cheer on the main character as she tries to come out of isolation after her boring husband Skip leaves her for Bianca of the long purple nails. I LOVED this.”

—Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

“COMMUNITY BOARD is about Darcy Clipper, who goes home to the house she grew up in when her world falls apart. I loved the epistolary format and wild neighborhood forum postings. From Darcy's inner dialogue with her beloved houseplant (Fred the fern) to found family she makes along the way, COMMUNITY BOARD had me touched and laughing out loud in turns. If you've ever gone through an emotionally rough patch (and who among us hasn't?!), this book is for you.”

—Jessica Nock, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC

“Zany small town story that pours on the charm right out of the gate. A caricature of small town life with “ripped from Next Door” community board posts threading together a multi-generational cast of characters who are determined to make sure good prevails.” 

—Adah Fitzgerald, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC

“Darcy Clipper proves that you can go home again. It may not be the same, it may not be pleasant, but it will be your community; and, that can feel like an embrace. Tara Conklin's delightful COMMUNITY BOARD is filled with quirky characters, laugh out loud scenarios, and an uplifting plot that is sure to have readers looking at their neighborhoods in new ways. Surf this board for a fun filled ride!”

— Pamela Klinger-Horn, The Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN

“Tara Conkin writes a book that speaks so clearly to the experience of lockdowns and shift to valuing community that collectively touched many in 2020. She does this by writing the feelings through a different story entirely, after a break up Darcy Clipper returns to her small,  white, rural bucolic hometown and hibernates in her house. Her connection to the community is through a message board that provides a clear connection to the idiosyncrasies and values of the people in the town. As Darcy tenuously ventures out into the world she meets a cast of characters whose experiences, missteps and strength become a positive exploration of who we are as people the redemptive power of community. This book is a pleasure  but sticks with you long after you turn the last page.” 

—Kimberly Davis, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

“Reeling after her husband announced he was leaving her for another woman, Darcy moves back to her hometown into the home her parents recently vacated. First she goes into self-imposed isolation where she starts to go hilariously mad. Then she meets a family that changes her life. This is a totally unique story about finding your community – whether that’s a couple people you meet or a whole town. It is laugh out loud funny and completely relatable. Highly recommended for those looking for a delightful and funny read.” 

—Kristen Beverly, Half Price Books, Dallas, TX

“Where do you go when your world falls apart? You go home again, of course, and even if your aging parents have moved to Arizona without telling you, the neighbors are building a Disney-sized playground and weird human looking bones are unearthed in the neighborhood, well, it's still home. This weird, wonderful, cozy book may just be my new favorite thing to recommend when someone requests something that's ‘just delightful.’”

—Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

“Darcy Clipper is approaching her thirtieth year when her husband decides to walk away from their predictable and vanilla life. She is heartbroken and flees to her childhood home in Murbridge, Massachusetts, only to discover that her parents have moved to Arizona without telling her. Feeling abandoned and at a loss, she sinks into self-isolation, subsisting on her mom's Y2K canned food stash and a vast collection of National Geographic magazines. She follows the town's online community board where the reader is given a glimpse of the local citizens, some zany, some lonely, some with darker ulterior motives. Through this avenue, Darcy begins to make comedic forays into society. Tara Conklin is a brilliant, literary writer. This novel is wickedly, absurdly funny and full of heart.”

—Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

“Darcy Clipper is approaching her thirtieth year when her husband decides to walk away from their predictable and vanilla life. She is heartbroken and flees to her childhood home in Murbridge, Massachusetts, only to discover that her parents have moved to Arizona without telling her. Feeling abandoned and at a loss, she sinks into self-isolation, subsisting on her mom's Y2K canned food stash and a vast collection of National Geographic magazines. She follows the town's online community board where the reader is given a glimpse of the local citizens, some zany, some lonely, some with darker ulterior motives. Through this avenue, Darcy begins to make comedic forays into society. Tara Conklin is a brilliant, literary writer. This novel is wickedly, absurdly funny and full of heart.”

—Damita Nocton, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

“A delightful book set in a small New England town with a 30 year old woman lost in her life and how she comes through it all intact. A story with a happy ending and I loved it.”

—Beth Carpenter, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

Image by Gülfer ERGİN

Where does one go, you might ask, when the world falls apart? When the immutable facts of your life—the mundane, the trivial, the take-for-granted minutiae that once filled every second of every day—suddenly disappear? Where does one go in such dire and unexpected circumstances?

I went home, of course.

MURBRIDGE COMMUNITY MESSAGE BOARD
 

  • FREE: 500 cans of corn. Accidentally ordered them online. I really hate corn. Happy to help load.

  • REMINDER: use your own goddamn garbage can for your own goddamn pet waste. I’m looking at you Peter Luflin.

  • REMINDER: monthly Select Board meeting this Friday. Agenda items: 1) sludge removal; 2) upkeep of chime tower; 3) ice rink monitor thank you gift. Questions? Contact Hildegard Hyman, HHMurbridge@gmail.com

 

Darcy Clipper, prodigal daughter, nearly thirty, has returned home to Murbridge, Massachusetts, after her life takes an unwelcome left turn. Murbridge, Darcy is convinced, will welcome her home and provide a safe space in which she can nurse her wounds and harbor grudges, both real and imagined.

But Murbridge, like so much else Darcy thought to be fixed and immutable, has changed. And while Darcy’s first instinct might be to hole herself up in her childhood bedroom, subsisting on Chef Boy-R-Dee and canned chickpeas, it is human nature to do two things: seek out meaningful human connection and respond to anonymous internet postings. As Murbridge begins to take shape around Darcy, both online and in person, Darcy will consider the most fundamental of American questions: What can she ask of her community? And what does she owe it in return?

bottom of page