Books by Luanne Rice

LUANNE RICE is the author of twenty-one novels, most recently Summer of Roses, Summer’s Child, Silver Bells, Beach Girls, and Dance With Me. She lives in New York City and Old Lyme, Connecticut.


LAST DAY by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2020

"A long buildup culminates in a climax that's not as satisfying as the rest of the story."
History seems to repeat itself across generations when a murder and the disappearance of a painting lead a Connecticut woman to investigate her sister's private life. Read full book review >
PRETEND SHE'S HERE by Luanne Rice
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Feb. 26, 2019

"An intriguing concept overtaken by thin characters and poor pacing. (Thriller. 12-15)"
Nearly a year after the death of her best friend, Lizzie, 15-year-old Emily is abducted by Lizzie's parents to fill the void in their lives. Read full book review >
THE BEAUTIFUL LOST by Luanne Rice
YOUNG ADULT
Released: June 27, 2017

"This novel clearly demonstrates that sometimes it is only in darkness that one can see light. (Fiction. 12-16)"
It's been six years since Maia's mother left and one year since she was hospitalized for attempting suicide. The depression is starting to set in again, but this time she has The Plan. Read full book review >
THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS by Luanne Rice
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Feb. 23, 2016

"Choppy and an issue book to the core, though certainly effective on the texting-and-driving message. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Nature, photography, sisterhood, and severe consequences for texting while driving. Read full book review >
THE LEMON ORCHARD by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 2, 2013

"Lovely and compelling, with quiet yet brave social commentary that enhances the book's impact."
Five years after the death of her daughter, Julia comes to Malibu to house-sit and is drawn to the overseer of the orchard property, an illegal immigrant who has his own tragic past. Read full book review >
LITTLE NIGHT by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 5, 2012

"A new rendering of Rice's familiar themes of sisterhood and inherited dysfunction, which suffers from slapdash characterization but profits from a sure-handed depiction of the wilds of New York."
A Manhattan ornithologist strives to heal the rift that has divided what is left of her family. Read full book review >
THE SILVER BOAT by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 19, 2011

"Errs on the side of the pat and predictable."
Three middle-aged sisters gather to consider the fate of their family property on Martha's Vineyard. Read full book review >
LIGHT OF THE MOON by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 5, 2008

"Nothing fresh here."
Rice (What Matters Most, 2007, etc.) returns with another novel about family ties, love, hurt and redemption. Read full book review >
WHAT MATTERS MOST by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 17, 2007

"Rice, usually good at bringing to life the Irish landscape, this time falls flat."
An emotionally exhaustive revisit with the two Irish-American families from Sandcastles (2006). Read full book review >
THE EDGE OF WINTER by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 20, 2007

"Loaded with Rice's usual overwrought romance—replete with crashing-wave metaphors."
The removal of a submerged WWII relic creates unlikely alliances. Read full book review >
SANDCASTLES by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 4, 2006

"Overwrought and flimsy—but at least the coastal scenery is lovely. "
Rice's latest (Dance With Me, 2004, etc.) focuses on a family with major communication problems. Read full book review >
SILVER BELLS by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 2, 2004

"Lyrical and lovely: a standout Christmas story."
Lost souls, found again. Read full book review >
DANCE WITH ME by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 2004

"A return to what the author does best: heartfelt family drama, gracefully written and poignant. "
You can go home again. Read full book review >
THE SECRET HOUR by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2003

"Formulaic but an effective blend of sentiment and suspense, somewhat less contrived than Rice's last (Summer Light, 2001)."
Dark doings in Connecticut. Read full book review >
SAFE HARBOR by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 29, 2002

"More a romance than a realistic take on love and family, but Rice fans won't mind."
Another misty-eyed tale of family ties that bind, with the addition of a trendy love affair between an older woman and a younger man as a sister confronts a mystery and takes charge of her two nieces. Read full book review >
SUMMER LIGHT by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 3, 2001

"Unpleasantly morbid, despite all the fairy-dust and child angels. And there's far too much play-by-play hockey for a romance. "
The latest from the bestselling author, among many others, of Follow the Stars (2000), among many others. Read full book review >
DREAM COUNTRY by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 30, 2001

"Too warm, too fuzzy, and way too sweet."
Rice (Follow the Stars Home, 1999, etc.) returns with yet another saccharine celebration of the family ties that hold—even through a child's disappearance, a teenager's pregnancy, and a disturbed man's vengeance. Read full book review >
FOLLOW THE STARS HOME by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2000

A sobfest about a mother, her brain-damaged child, and the two men she's loved. Rice's eighth novel confirms the worst fears of those who admired her earlier work, particularly Crazy in Love (1988) and the flawed but interesting Secrets of Paris (1991). Perhaps in an effort to gain wide readership—and maybe even a nod from the all-powerful Oprah—a solid domestic novelist has turned sentimental and trendy, constructing her story around topics a generous publicist might call "ripped from today's headlines" and a disappointed fan might deem way too topical and formulaic. Shortly before Dianne Robbins gave birth to a developmentally disabled daughter, her handsome, irresponsible fisherman husband, Tim McIntosh, leaves her. He couldn't deal with the fact that his child would be less than perfect. Twelve years later Dianne and Julia are in the same rural Connecticut town, dependent on Dianne's plainspoken librarian mother, Lucinda, and Tim's pediatrician brother, Alan, whom Dianne had dated once before marrying Tim. Although Alan is still in love with Dianne, instead of admitting this to her'she loves him too, by the way—he stays close by ministering to Julia. Soon, however, the lovers admit their feelings and ba-boom, something bad happens: Dianne is in a freak accident, and by mistake the wrong McIntosh—Tim—is called to the scene. Will the long-suffering Dianne, the ideal mother, the Good Person, succumb to her ex's charms? Will Alan the Saint forgive Tim for behavior that stems, Rice tells us, from his pain at watching another brother die in adolescence? In case all this isn't hokey enough, tune in to the misunderstood neighbor girl who baby-sits for Julia and provides Dianne with a glimpse of the daughter she might have had, and to last chapter, "Julia's Story," in which the 12-year-old who cannot speak reveals her thoughts and feelings. Predictable plot, stock characters, and unnuanced emotion. The good news: At least there are no violins. Read full book review >
CLOUD NINE by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 1999

The obstacles inherent in finding true love, fighting terminal cancer, reconciling a broken family and maintaining the family farm are resolved—all within a few weeks—in this latest schmaltz-fest from Rice (Home Fires, 1995, etc.). Having just been given a clean bill of health after battling a brain tumor, 37-year-old Sarah Talbot is treated for her birthday to an airplane ride over rural New York. Her pilot, the dashing Will Burke, takes a fast shine to her rhapsodic happiness, which alchemizes his leaden gloom into golden hope. That's just what Will needs since the disintegration of his family: After his son Fred drowned (Will blames himself—he's a trained Navy rescue operative), he and his wife divorced, he quit the Navy to become a charter pilot, and his teenage daughter Susan lost, or seemed to lose, her marbles. Sarah and Will meet again by chance at a country fair, where Sarah hires him to take her back to Elk Island for Thanksgiving. Dangling off the coast of Maine, this remote spot was Sarah's childhood refuge; her teenage son and father now live there. Sarah longs to bring the runaway Mike back home with her and to reconcile with the father who's never forgiven her for leaving the island. Meanwhile, Will's daughter Susan stows away for the trip to escape the dreariness of life with her tight-lipped mother and pretentious stepfather. The island is a fantasy for all concerned. Though they barely know each other, Sarah and Will fall madly in love; Susan's mesmerized by everything—island life, Sarah, and handsome Mike. When Mike falls through an iced-over pond, Will even manages to save him. But nothing this good, of course, can last. An unbelievable death walk down the aisle tops off this syrupy concoction. (Author tour) Read full book review >
HOME FIRES by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 15, 1995

Good, domestic drama is Rice's chosen field, and she knows every acre of it (Blue Moon, 1993; Secrets of Paris, 1991, etc.). Her sixth novel bears all her usual signposts: family tragedies, great romance, and writing so strong you wish she'd trust it to let her explore new pastures as well. Anne Davis, a young woman still spinning from both the accidental death of her four-year-old daughter and the breakup of her marriage, has left New York City and returned to the New England island where she grew up. On her first night back, a fire breaks out in her childhood home. Anne rushes into the flames to save a memento of her daughter's life and has to be rescued by Thomas Devlin, a firefighter who has scars, both physical and emotional, from an earlier blaze that killed his wife. As the old family place is being rebuilt, Anne slowly, painstakingly, begins to rebuild her own life, too, with the help of Thomas, the well- meaning interference of older sister Gaby, and the general nosiness of the whole island population. A final grisly tragedy allows Anne the chance to help save the life of someone dear to herthe chance she never had when her daughter diedand gives her enough peace to face the future again. As ever, Rice creates fine characters (even if Anne is just a shade too noble to be true), and she writes wonderfully romantic, steaming seduction scenes. While the many tragedies of this latest novel seem laid on with a heavy hand, she shows what she's really capable of in the small moments: the way two sisters talk to each other in a perfect mix of affection and envy; how the smell of smoke gets trapped in an attic's rafters; and, finally, how a child offers a homely, heartrending depiction of paradise. Rice's home fires burn brighter than most, and they leave more than a few smoldering moments to remember. Read full book review >
BLUE MOON by Luanne Rice
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1993

A Rhode Island fishing family rides out some rough seas, both emotionally and literally, in Rice's latest (and most crafted-for- popular-success) effort. Cass Keating, third daughter and third generation of the family that's controlled a big hunk of the Mount Hope waterfront for decades, works for the family business and is married to her high-school sweetheart, Billy Medeiros, a fisherman. Cass and Billy have three children, two teenagers and four-year-old Josie, who has a severe hearing impairment. Josie's problems have shaken the very fabric of the Medeiros and Keating families, stirring tensions and highlighting the weak spots. The troubles seem contagious, affecting the older children, Cass and Billy's marriage, and even the very future of the Keating enterprise. Rice's trademarks are fine writing, a good eye for small detail, and an uncanny way of conveying the mysterious glue that holds families together— especially the bond between sisters. All of that can be found here, along with some well-wrought suspense revolving around a sea rescue. But some of the subtlety in the writing—the spark of edginess that especially characterized her earliest work, Angels All Over Town (1985)—has given way to the more explicit here. The glue is too often just sticky stuff. And the X-rated sex and masturbation scenes manage to be both funny and repulsive at the same time. Old Rice, then, with a new recipe—loves and fishes to feed the masses. (First printing of 35,000; First serial to Good Housekeeping) Read full book review >
SECRETS OF PARIS by Luanne Rice
Released: June 1, 1991

Romantic Rice (Stone Heart, etc.) continues to explore every angle of family love in her fourth novel-this time in Paris where l'amour takes some unexpected turns. Lydie McBride and her husband Michael are Americans spending a year in Paris so that Michael, an architect on a cultural exchange program, can design an information center for the Louvre. Lydie is working as a free-lance photographer's stylist and, at the same time, working out some personal problems. Not long before the McBrides came to Paris, Lydie's father shot his lover and then killed himself. Now, Lydie feels detached from life-from Michael and from Paris. Michael, finally fed up with his wife's aloofness, finds himself drawn to Anne Dumas, a petite Frenchwoman who works at the Louvre. When Michael eventually moves out of their apartment, a stunned Lydie buries herself in a new work project: arranging a fancy-dress ball to display the fabulous d`Origny jewelry; and a personal project: trying to help the d`Orignys' housekeeper, a young Filipino woman, emigrate to America. The ball turns out to be a success, the emigration process less so, but, along the way, Lydie is drawn back into life-and the course of true love finally runs smooth again. Rice has a flair for creating bright, compelling characters. We're drawn to them, but there's something lightweight about them too. The McBrides never quibble-or even worry-about money. They never experience a language barrier in Paris. Their glamorous jobs bring them acclaim and recognition. All of this may add to their luster, but, sooner or later, we want something more solid beneath the shine. Fluffy, but good-puffed Rice, Parisian-style. Read full book review >