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Arts & Culture

Idaho Author (And NYT Bestseller) Cynthia Hand Discusses Her New Book


New York Times bestselling author and Idaho native Cynthia Hand’s ninth book comes out today.


The How & The Why tells the story of Cass, a young woman from Idaho Falls who wants to know more about her birth mom. 

The story is close to home for Hand. She told Idaho Matters Monday that she’s also adopted, and as a teenager, she, too, tried to search for her birth mother. 

“I like to write things that I haven’t quite figured out for myself yet,” Hand said.

Hand said she’s been writing since she could hold a pencil, but fell into writing young adult novels by accident. From short stories to novels, her characters always seemed to be teens. So she went with it. Hand sees her new book as an important addition to the young adult genre. 

“I haven't seen a lot of what I consider to be really accurate portrayals of adoption in film or TV or in books,” Hand said. “So I wanted to write an accurate version of that as best I could.”

The book includes references to real-life Idaho Falls and Boise locations.

“It helps make the world that the characters live in so much richer, and gives them atmosphere to breathe.”

The How & The Why is out Tuesday. Cynthia Hand will be speaking at Rediscovered Books in Boise on Wednesday evening. 

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