A wholesome second-chance romance, filled with modern-day family drama.

READ REVIEW

A FOOLISH CONSISTENCY

In Weir’s debut love story, a couple takes another try at romance, 25 years after their initial relationship ended.

Callie Winwood is a middle-aged divorcée who expects little more from her adult existence than the quiet companionship of her dog, Bailey. While visiting an old friend, a bit of careless vegetable chopping lands Callie in the emergency room. The doctor on call just happens to be Will Tremaine, a man she almost married two decades earlier. As Will stitches up Callie’s minor wound, they catch up on old times and then say goodbye. However, they quickly realize that they still have unresolved feelings for each other. Widower Will is ready to start dating again, and he can’t get Callie off his mind; he finally works up the nerve to pursue her, but not until after she’s returned home. They soon embark on a long-distance relationship, in which they revive their fervent connection. Callie’s grown children are supportive of their mother’s new boyfriend, but Will’s adolescent kids are less accepting. Even more resistant is the family of Will’s deceased wife, Joanna. Will and Callie soon discover that his former in-laws will stop at nothing to tear them apart, and they must decide just how much they’re willing to sacrifice in order to be together. As the two main characters navigate their relationship, Weir’s vivid prose brings them both to life (“[H]e had two children to consider….I couldn’t step into his life without stepping into theirs, and that was not something I would do precipitously”). Grief looms large throughout the story, becoming something of a character in itself. The author expertly juxtaposes the sadness of loss with the joy of new beginnings, providing readers with hope that her grieving characters will recover. She also explores the idea of blended families with insight and finesse. Although the physical chemistry between Will and Callie sometimes feels forced, their emotional connection rings strong and true. Overall, the fast pace of the narrative and the thoughtfulness of the characters provide the tale with undeniable appeal.

A wholesome second-chance romance, filled with modern-day family drama.

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-1936672738

Page Count: 342

Publisher: Cedar Forge Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

A WEEK AT THE SHORE

A middle-aged woman returns to her childhood home to care for her ailing father, confronting many painful secrets from her past.

When Mallory Aldiss gets a call from a long-ago boyfriend telling her that her elderly father has been gallivanting around town with a gun in his hand, Mallory decides it’s time to return to the small Rhode Island town that she’s been avoiding for more than a decade. Mallory’s precocious 13-year-old daughter, Joy, is thrilled that she'll get to meet her grandfather at long last, and an aunt, too, and she'll finally see the place where her mother grew up. When they arrive in Bay Bluff, it’s barely a few hours before Mallory bumps into her old flame, Jack, the only man she’s ever really loved. Gone is the rebellious young person she remembers, and in his place stands a compassionate, accomplished adult. As they try to reconnect, Mallory realizes that the same obstacle that pushed them apart decades earlier is still standing in their way: Jack blames Mallory’s father for his mother’s death. No one knows exactly how Jack’s mother died, but Jack thinks a love affair between her and Mallory’s father had something to do with it. As Jack and Mallory chase down answers, Mallory also tries to repair her rocky relationships with her two sisters and determine why her father has always been so hard on her. Told entirely from Mallory’s perspective, the novel has a haunting, nostalgic quality. Despite the complex and overlapping layers to the history of Bay Bluff and its inhabitants, the book at times trudges too slowly through Mallory’s meanderings down Memory Lane. Even so, Delinsky sometimes manages to pick up the pace, and in those moments the beauty and nuance of this complicated family tale shine through. Readers who don’t mind skimming past details that do little to advance the plot may find that the juicier nuggets and realistically rendered human connections are worth the effort.

A touching family drama that effectively explores the negative impact of stress on fragile relationships.

Pub Date: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-11951-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE GIVER OF STARS

Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.

Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She’s just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback library—an initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library’s leader, Margery. Margery doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn’t believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn’t care for Alice’s job or Margery’s lifestyle, and he’ll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-56248-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more