A cozy, hopeful escape that will make readers laugh, cry, and feel inspired.

THE SWITCH

A grieving British woman and her grandmother switch homes and lives in an attempt to shake things up.

Leena Cotton knows she hasn’t exactly been herself since the death of her beloved sister, but after she has a panic attack in a big meeting, she’s shocked that her boss insists she take a two-month sabbatical. The absolute last thing Leena wants is a break—with so much free time, she might actually have to confront the way her relationship with her mother has deteriorated since her sister’s death. But there is one family member Leena still adores—her grandmother Eileen, who’s incredibly active in her small town even at the age of 79. Eileen’s main focus is finding a new man after her husband left her, but Hamleigh-in Harksdale, population 168, doesn’t boast many eligible bachelors. Leena and her grandmother hatch an unlikely plan that just might help both of them—they’ll switch lives. Leena will live in Eileen’s charming, fairy-tale–worthy cottage in Hamleigh while Eileen will stay in Leena’s London flat with her roommates. Leena will oversee all of Eileen’s many projects while Eileen can experience the big-city adventures she missed out on while she was unhappily married. Soon, Eileen is going on dates and adjusting to city life while Leena handles Neighborhood Watch meetings and attempts to fit in with a crowd of mostly elderly people. Although there’s slightly less romance than in O’Leary’s debut, The Flatshare (2019), this novel is full of the charm and warmth readers expect, with an increased focus on family bonds. Leena’s attempts to deal with her sister’s death and heal her relationship with her mother are quite moving while the eccentric cast of town residents and her quirky London roommates provide plenty of laughs. But Eileen, as a nearly-80-year-old woman who’s allowed to have hopes, dreams, and a vibrant sex life, truly shines. She never gives up on helping others or finding her own happily-ever-after, proving that it’s never too late to start over.

A cozy, hopeful escape that will make readers laugh, cry, and feel inspired.

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-25076-986-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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

IT STARTS WITH US

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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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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