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A likable beach read with just a touch of gravitas.

Delinsky, whose bestsellers tackle the crises of family life, offers a story of growth for a woman and her adult daughter and the resulting painful divide.

Caroline MacAfee is head carpenter for MacAfee Homes and host of the popular home-improvement show Gut It!, which chronicles the company's building projects. The company is a family affair, run by patriarch Theodore; Caroline's ex-husband, Roy; their architect daughter, Jamie; and her fiance, Brad, the company's lawyer. Caroline avoids Roy and his young third wife, Jess, and their toddler, Tad, preferring the wood shop to the boardroom. But then the producer of Gut It! drops a bombshell—Caroline is being replaced as host by Jamie. Caroline is furious, feeling she's the victim of ageism, and irrationally blames Jamie for orchestrating her own promotion. Heartbroken Jamie adores her mother and doesn't want to host the show, at least not like this. But suddenly this conflict becomes much less relevant when Roy and Jess are killed in a car accident and Jamie is given custody of Tad, her half brother. Grieving and overwhelmed, Jamie has just a few days to learn the trick of being a working mother. (Brad is no help, suggesting Tad be given, like an old potato, to someone else.) As her mother is still not speaking to her, Jamie begins to rely on Chip Kobik, a hunky dad and former NHL bad boy she meets at the park. He helps her navigate life with Tad and realize what real love looks like. Meanwhile, as the new CEO, the often unsympathetic Caroline softens while keeping company with her longtime friend Dean, the company's general contractor and a surprisingly romantic tough guy. Delinsky effortlessly brings the components together—romance, career shifts, changes in parent-child relationships—and if the novel becomes occasionally clunky detailing an architect at work or a real estate deal in action, then the two charming romances make up for it.

A likable beach read with just a touch of gravitas.

Pub Date: June 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-00704-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2015

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Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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