Next book

WOMEN WITH BIG EYES

A remarkable collection. First published in 1990 in Mexico, now deftly translated, though the text includes the complete...

Mexican women, brought to vivid life in masterful vignettes.

With soulful warmth and sly humor—and a deep respect for the earthy details of lives that center on husbands (and lovers), fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, cousins, and children both pure and perfidious—Mastretta (Lovesick, 1997, etc.) gets an entire world into very few pages. Taking as title and subject “women with big eyes,” she describes those blessed with the ability to see truly, responding to joys and troubles with open hearts and a quirky individuality that enchants and appeals. Yet there is nothing sentimental about these women, and the boundaries of their somewhat circumscribed lives are quite clear, set by society, the Catholic church, and macho men who brook no disobedience. But they talk back and they do as they please, whether in the wilder reaches of their imaginations or the everyday clatter of Pueblo kitchens. Aunt Fernanda, a devoted mother and wife with an unseen lover, can hear—clandestine sex helps—the delirious rhythm that also controls the equilibrium of a constantly shifting universe. If that is sacrilege, then the Holy Trinity owes her an explanation. Aunt Cristina Martinez, unmarried by the tragically old age of 20, has a dazzling engagement ring delivered and marries an imaginary fiancé in secret—then a year later, singing sad and wild songs and wearing black high heels and sheer black stockings, mourns his unfortunate death. There’s no end of aunts, fortunately, or of stories, and each is the unique creation of a greatly gifted author.

A remarkable collection. First published in 1990 in Mexico, now deftly translated, though the text includes the complete Spanish as well.

Pub Date: Nov. 10, 2003

ISBN: 1-57322-346-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Riverhead

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2003

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 385


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 385


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 187


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

Next book

THE LAST LETTER

A thoughtful and pensive tale with intelligent characters and a satisfying romance.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 187


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

A promise to his best friend leads an Army serviceman to a family in need and a chance at true love in this novel.

Beckett Gentry is surprised when his Army buddy Ryan MacKenzie gives him a letter from Ryan’s sister, Ella. Abandoned by his mother, Beckett grew up in a series of foster homes. He is wary of attachments until he reads Ella’s letter. A single mother, Ella lives with her twins, Maisie and Colt, at Solitude, the resort she operates in Telluride, Colorado. They begin a correspondence, although Beckett can only identify himself by his call sign, Chaos. After Ryan’s death during a mission, Beckett travels to Telluride as his friend had requested. He bonds with the twins while falling deeply in love with Ella. Reluctant to reveal details of Ryan’s death and risk causing her pain, Beckett declines to disclose to Ella that he is Chaos. Maisie needs treatment for neuroblastoma, and Beckett formally adopts the twins as a sign of his commitment to support Ella and her children. He and Ella pursue a romance, but when an insurance investigator questions the adoption, Beckett is faced with revealing the truth about the letters and Ryan’s death, risking losing the family he loves. Yarros’ (Wilder, 2016, etc.) novel is a deeply felt and emotionally nuanced contemporary romance bolstered by well-drawn characters and strong, confident storytelling. Beckett and Ella are sympathetic protagonists whose past experiences leave them cautious when it comes to love. Beckett never knew the security of a stable home life. Ella impulsively married her high school boyfriend, but the marriage ended when he discovered she was pregnant. The author is especially adept at developing the characters through subtle but significant details, like Beckett’s aversion to swearing. Beckett and Ella’s romance unfolds slowly in chapters that alternate between their first-person viewpoints. The letters they exchanged are pivotal to their connection, and almost every chapter opens with one. Yarros’ writing is crisp and sharp, with passages that are poetic without being florid. For example, in a letter to Beckett, Ella writes of motherhood: “But I’m not the center of their universe. I’m more like their gravity.” While the love story is the book’s focus, the subplot involving Maisie’s illness is equally well-developed, and the link between Beckett and the twins is heartfelt and sincere.

A thoughtful and pensive tale with intelligent characters and a satisfying romance.

Pub Date: Feb. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64063-533-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Entangled: Amara

Review Posted Online: Jan. 2, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

Close Quickview