Ordinary People

Calvin is a determined, successful provider and Beth an organized, efficient wife. They had two sons, Conrad and Buck, but now they have one. This novel inspired Robert Redford’s Oscar-winning film of the same name starring Donald Sutherland and Mary Tyler Moore.

"Admirable... touching... full of the anxiety, despair, and joy that is common to every human experience of suffering and growth." -The New York Times

"Rejoice! A novel for all ages and all seasons." -The Washington Post

Publisher: Viking Press (July 1976)

Winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize


The Tarnished Eye

Based on an actual unsolved crime of the 1960's, this novel imagines a solution with the aid of Sheriff Hugh DeWitt, of Blessed, Michigan, the small town where it occurred. While dealing with the sudden death of his infant son, DeWitt puts his energies toward catching the killer. A fast-paced and deeply personal thriller.

“The characters are so real that their insistence on hope, in the face of inexplicable evil, suggests how all of us might best cope in these perilous times.” - Dean Koontz

“Judith Guest brings new depth and emotion to the police procedural with this finely woven tale of family, death, duty and redemption.” - Pete Hautman, National Book Award Winner for Godless

Publisher: Charles Scribner's Sons (June 1, 2004)


Second Heaven

The story of a deeply troubled boy, Gale Murray,  who, with the aid of his lawyer, Michael Atwood, and  a sympathetic neighbor, Cat Holzman. manages to thwart the pressures of his abusive family and the indifference of the law to construct a new life for himself.  

“She makes us understand loneliness… rootlessness… pain, and the desperate need for love… she casts light on our own lives.” - Chicago Tribune

“Never once sliding into the sentimental, knowing just how to make her characters real, Guest has written a novel that makes her readers think and feel passionately, and that is no mean feat.” - Publishers Weekly

Publisher: Viking (October 4, 1982)



When her husband dies, Annie must try to survive loneliness and despair and hold her young family together, while her sister, Jess, attempts to help her. The two sisters, each wrestling with her own demons, manage to overcome their mutual mistrust in order to effect a truce and comfort Annie's suffering children. 

“I will always admire writers like Judith Guest, who dare to illuminate the small moment…” - Meg Wolitzer, critic

“Once again it becomes clear that, in her understanding of the troubled landscape of American family life, Judith Guest has few equals. Her wisdom runs deep, her touch is graceful and flawless, and her tone is absolutely sure.” - Reeve Lindbergh

Publisher: Ballantine Books (January 14, 1997)


Killing Time in St. Cloud

Strange doings in the town of St. Cloud after a long-lost brother returns to rekindle a feud and threaten to reveal some long-held family secrets. Three murders occur that strike at the town's very core.

“Chilling…full of unexpected twists…holds your attention to the very last paragraph.” - The Pittsburgh Press

“Captures the incestuous nature of a small town that protects its own and barely tolerates the slightest deviant behavior.” - Los Angeles Times

Publisher: Dell Publishing (October 1, 1988)