Honestly, We Meant Well

by Grant Ginder

An irresistible, deftly observed novel about family, regret, and vacation by the author of The People We Hate at the Wedding.

The Wright family is in ruins.

Sue Ellen Wright has what she thinks is a close-to-perfect life. A terrific career as a Classics professor, a loving husband, and a son who is just about to safely leave the nest.

But then disaster strikes. She learns that her husband is cheating, and that her son has made a complete mess of his life. So, when the opportunity to take her family to a Greek island for a month presents itself, she jumps at the chance. This sunlit Aegean paradise, with its mountains and beaches is, after all, where she first fell in love with both a man and with an ancient culture. Perhaps Sue Ellen’s past will provide the key to her and her family’s salvation.

With his signature style of biting wit, hilarious characters, and deep emotion, Grant Ginder’s Honestly, We Meant Well is a funny, brilliant novel proving that with family, drama always comes with comedy.

Available June 11, 2019

Barnes & Noble

Editorial Reviews

This rollicking book has it all: sex, lies, and scenery. Grant Ginder weaves a wonderful, engrossing multi-generational family story, with the Greek isles as a backdrop so beautiful that the reader will want to dive in.

Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers and Modern Lovers

Sitting down with Grant Ginder’s new book is the reading equivalent of sitting down with your favorite cocktail and cheese plate on the vacation of your dreams and gobbling it all down with a heady pleasure.

Janice Lee, New York Times bestselling author of The Piano Player and The Expatriates

Deeply satisfying, laugh-out-loud novel about life’s big questions and what the answers can sometimes be.


Smart, funny, and filled with delightfully effed-up characters, Honestly, We Meant Well shows us once again that Grant Ginder is a master of simultaneously loving and filleting people who mean well but, let’s face it, aren’t doing so well with the big questions of life.

David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife

A story so fun and funny that you’re almost unprepared for the book’s immense heart — a Homeric journey by Ginder’s signature flawed but deeply relatable characters to find home. You will devour this book.

Steven Rowley, bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus and The Editor

Reliably entertaining and intelligent, Ginder is an excellent tour guide for both the sunny Greek islands and the darker channels of the human heart.

Kirkus Reviews

Grant Ginder writes characters I want to be and characters I’m terrified I might already be. He deeply understands the agonizing and beautiful parts of being a person in relation to other people, and in the deftly woven Honestly, We Meant Well, Ginder highlights both the agony and the beauty of family. It’s also hilarious.

Emily V. Gordon, Academy Award nominated writer of The Big Sick

Grant Ginder is a master of the perfectly rendered detail. Reading his dazzling new novel, Honestly, We Meant Well, I was transported from my shabby, sagging couch to the sun-drenched islands of Greece where, like his flawed but relatable characters, I drank ouzo, danced with the locals, and discovered my best self. Funny, wise, and utterly charming―I’d follow Ginder anywhere. Honestly.

Jillian Medoff, bestselling author of This Could Hurt