Next book

ATTRIBUTION

A captivating journey to a specialized world full of drama.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

An art history student stumbles on a hidden treasure in this literary novel.

Catherine “Cate” Adamson is trying to make her way in New York City’s prestigious art world. The Michigan transplant, who relocated after the tragic death of her teenage brother, Matty, is the only woman in her doctoral program at the fictional New York City University. Her adviser, academic bigwig professor Herant Jones, keeps nixing her dissertation proposals. But everything changes on a cold December day on campus when Cate uncovers a scroll of canvas in a forgotten storage room—and trusts her intuition not to tell Jones. It’s a small but stunning painting that may be from the Baroque period (“The composition seemed to be an allegory, perhaps from mythology”). It strongly resembles the works of renowned 17th-century Spanish Golden Age artist Velázquez, but nothing like it exists on record. Cate decides to embark on a trip to Spain, the center of the Golden Age and now home to the famed Prado Museum, armed with the painting she has nicknamed La Gloria, to try to solve the mystery of the canvas and who created it. Was the artist actually Velázquez himself or a mistress? An enslaved person perhaps? On a train in Spain, Cate meets the handsome Antonio de Olivares, who may have a personal connection to the mysterious painting. Once the Prado gets involved with an agenda of its own, Cate must choose between attaining love and academic stardom and finally giving credit to an artist with no voice. Moore is a Prado alum and former gallery owner. Her passion and extensive knowledge of art history show on every page as readers follow Cate from the tiny, drafty room stateside where the puzzling canvas is found to the vibrant, colorful environment that is Spain at Christmastime. As a love interest, Antonio is attractive, intelligent, and supportive, offering his apartment and ancestral family home to Cate as she needs it as well as the potential for a romantic future. But their conflicts when it comes to the painting and Cate’s professional life are realistic. La Gloria itself, a beautifully described and ever enigmatic artwork, is an intriguing character all on its own.

A captivating journey to a specialized world full of drama.

Pub Date: Oct. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64742-253-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2022

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 176


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

THE WOMEN

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 176


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.

When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781250178633

Page Count: 480

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

SWAN SONG

Though Hilderbrand threatens to kill all our darlings with this last laugh, her acknowledgments say it’s just “for now.”

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A stranger comes to town, and a beloved storyteller plays this creative-writing standby for all it’s worth.

Hilderbrand fans, a vast and devoted legion, will remember Blond Sharon, the notorious island gossip. In what is purportedly the last of the Nantucket novels, Blond Sharon decides to pursue her lifelong dream of fiction writing. In the collective opinion of the island—aka the “cobblestone telegraph”—she’s qualified. “Well, we think, she’s certainly demonstrated her keen interest in other people’s stories, the seedier and more salacious, the better.” Blond Sharon’s first assignment in her online creative writing class is to create a two-person character study, and Hilderbrand has her write up the two who arrive on the ferry in an opening scene of the book, using the same descriptors Hilderbrand has. Amusingly, the class is totally unimpressed. “‘I found it predictable,’ Willow said. ‘Like maybe Sharon used ChatGPT with the prompt “Write a character study about two women getting off the ferry, one prep and one punk.”’” Blond Sharon abandons these characters, but Hilderbrand thankfully does not. They are Kacy Kapenash, daughter of retiring police chief Ed Kapenash (the other swan song referred to by the title), and her new friend Coco Coyle, who has given up her bartending job in the Virgin Islands to become a “personal concierge” for the other strangers-who-have-come-to-town. These are the Richardsons, Bull and Leslee, a wild and wealthy couple who have purchased a $22 million beachfront property and plan to take Nantucket by storm. As the book opens, their house has burned down during an end-of-summer party on their yacht, and Coco is missing, feared both responsible for the fire and dead. Though it’s the last weekend of his tenure, Chief Ed refuses to let the incoming chief, Zara Washington, take this one over. The investigation goes forward in parallel with a review of the summer’s intrigues, love affairs, and festivities. Whatever else you can say about Leslee Richardson, she knows how to throw a party, and Hilderbrand is just the writer to design her invitations, menus, themes, playlists, and outfits. And that hot tub!

Though Hilderbrand threatens to kill all our darlings with this last laugh, her acknowledgments say it’s just “for now.”

Pub Date: June 11, 2024

ISBN: 9780316258876

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

Close Quickview