An inventive if imperfect solution to a decades-old mystery.

What if Amelia Earhart had not only survived her last flight, but found true romance?

The book opens in 1947 with the story of Janey Everett, a war correspondent whose first-person frame narrative alternates with excerpts from her book, Aviatrix, about celebrity airwoman Irene Foster and her flight coach and eventual lover, stunt pilot Sam Mallory. Williams’ otherwise imaginative novel front-loads a lot of exposition, particularly about Janey’s past—the many reasons she’s in denial about the extent of her own vulnerability as she uses men to get information, first about the location of Mallory’s remains and later about the whereabouts of Irene, who now, a decade after her plane went missing in 1937, lives in obscurity in Hawaii. Janey's chronicle of star-crossed lovers Irene and Sam unfolds in similarly creaky fashion. They meet while surfing on a California beach. A stray kitten is in the mix, adopted by Sam. The cat, dubbed Sandy, serves as motif and talisman. After Sam teaches Irene to fly, Sandy stows away on their groundbreaking flight from California to Australia. Nineteen years later Janey discovers that Sandy, living with Irene, has defied all conventions of feline longevity. Although the book is expressly not intended as biographical fiction, many aspects of Earhart’s life are here, among them an alcoholic father and a New York publisher who acts as her promoter (based on George Putnam, but here, in a sly nod to Williams’ own publisher, surnamed Morrow). The action is significantly slowed by technical details about surfing and flying that are sometimes engrossing but often gratuitous. Only halfway through does tension ramp up as Irene and Sam contemplate a future together and confront a giant impediment: Sam’s wife, who wouldn’t hesitate to use his young daughter as a pawn. Plenty of twists ensue, but by now readers may have lost patience. Williams has a fine ear for period-appropriate dialogue, leading us to wonder why there isn’t more of it.

An inventive if imperfect solution to a decades-old mystery.

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-283478-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020


A captivating allegory about evil, lies, and forgiveness.

Truth and deception clash in this tale of the Holocaust.

Udo Graf is proud that the Wolf has assigned him the task of expelling all 50,000 Jews from Salonika, Greece. In that city, Nico Krispis is an 11-year-old Jewish boy whose blue eyes and blond hair deceive, but whose words do not. Those who know him know he has never told a lie in his life—“Never be the one to tell lies, Nico,” his grandfather teaches him. “God is always watching.” Udo and Nico meet, and Udo decides to exploit the child’s innocence. At the train station where Jews are being jammed into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz, Udo gives Nico a yellow star to wear and persuades him to whisper among the crowd, “I heard it from a German officer. They are sending us to Poland. We will have new homes. And jobs.” The lad doesn’t know any better, so he helps persuade reluctant Jews to board the train to hell. “You were a good little liar,” Udo later tells Nico, and delights in the prospect of breaking the boy’s spirit, which is more fun and a greater challenge than killing him outright. When Nico realizes the horrific nature of what he's done, his truth-telling days are over. He becomes an inveterate liar about everything. Narrating the story is the Angel of Truth, whom according to a parable God had cast out of heaven and onto earth, where Truth shattered into billions of pieces, each to lodge in a human heart. (Obviously, many hearts have been missed.) Truth skillfully weaves together the characters, including Nico; his brother, Sebastian; Sebastian’s wife, Fannie; and the “heartless deceiver” Udo. Events extend for decades beyond World War II, until everyone’s lives finally collide in dramatic fashion. As Truth readily acknowledges, his account is loaded with twists and turns, some fortuitous and others not. Will Nico Krispis ever seek redemption? And will he find it? Author Albom’s passion shows through on every page in this well-crafted novel.

A captivating allegory about evil, lies, and forgiveness.

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2023

ISBN: 9780062406651

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023


A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.

Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-778-38608-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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