An adroit, dry-witted tale about a strong-willed woman trying to live her life.


A woman in 1948 New York City tests the waters of personal independence.

At the opening of Parrish’s novel, a young woman named Edith Sloan is working as a typist in New York, staying with her aunt Margaret, and keeping up a steady correspondence with her law student husband, Walter, who’s at Harvard Law School on the GI Bill. Edith is away from her husband but she’s hardly miserable: She has a job, complete independence, and loves living and bantering with her free-spirited aunt. Edith originally left Walter amicably enough, but the letters from him and his parents (and her own folks) urging her to return to Cambridge and the marriage have become increasingly imploring. Eventually, grudgingly, she decides to leave her life in New York and attempt to become Walter’s idea of a dutiful wife in Massachusetts as he finishes his studies and seeks to become a successful lawyer. This works about as well as readers might expect, and along the way, Edith must also deal with the worsening illness of her stern father and the not-so-subtle condescension of her new peers in Cambridge. Parrish employs a wonderfully light touch throughout these stories of Edith’s adventures, always drawing readers right up to the brink of a flat realization about some situation and then pulling back and letting them step into it themselves. Although Edith is a consistently well-realized and enjoyable character in her own right, another of the book’s strengths is the understated way the author makes Walter the stand-in for an entire generation that expressed offhand sexism. He cluelessly tells Edith, for instance, that he admires her compassion––it’s a beautiful trait in a woman and suggests “the loving mother she would eventually become,” casually adding, “Every woman wants to be a mother.” (He even tells Edith she should ignore book reviews, the clod.) Readers will be quietly cheering for Edith to conquer all.

An adroit, dry-witted tale about a strong-willed woman trying to live her life.

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-956692-34-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Unsolicited Press

Review Posted Online: May 5, 2022

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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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The years pass by at a fast and steamy clip in Blume’s latest adult novel (Wifey, not reviewed; Smart Women, 1984) as two friends find loyalties and affections tested as they grow into young women. In sixth grade, when Victoria Weaver is asked by new girl Caitlin Somers to spend the summer with her on Martha’s Vineyard, her life changes forever. Victoria, or more commonly Vix, lives in a small house; her brother has muscular dystrophy; her mother is unhappy, and money is scarce. Caitlin, on the other hand, lives part of the year with her wealthy mother Phoebe, who’s just moved to Albuquerque, and summers with her father Lamb, equally affluent, on the Vineyard. The story of how this casual invitation turns the two girls into what they call "Summer sisters" is prefaced with a prologue in which Vix is asked by Caitlin to be her matron of honor. The years in between are related in brief segments by numerous characters, but mostly by Vix. Caitlin, determined never to be ordinary, is always testing the limits, and in adolescence falls hard for Von, an older construction worker, while Vix falls for his friend Bru. Blume knows the way kids and teens speak, but her two female leads are less credible as they reach adulthood. After high school, Caitlin travels the world and can’t understand why Vix, by now at Harvard on a scholarship and determined to have a better life than her mother has had, won’t drop out and join her. Though the wedding briefly revives Vix’s old feelings for Bru, whom Caitlin is marrying, Vix is soon in love with Gus, another old summer friend, and a more compatible match. But Caitlin, whose own demons have been hinted at, will not be so lucky. The dark and light sides of friendship breathlessly explored in a novel best saved for summer beachside reading.

Pub Date: May 8, 1998

ISBN: 0-385-32405-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1998

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