LUCKY TURTLE

An epic love story and love letter to the West. No greater reading pleasure to be had anywhere.

A teenage girl sent to reform school in deepest Montana meets the love of her life the day she arrives—the school's van driver.

"The driver was my age, maybe a little older, slender, huge cowboy hat and cowboy boots and cowboy buckle. He wore a long black braid tied with rawhide and thicker rawhide bands around his wiry biceps....He smelled like some distant burning, I can hardly explain it, studied my eyes whenever I was required to cooperate, didn’t put his hands on me, didn’t ask any questions, didn’t offer any greetings, not a word from his mouth." Look out: Roorbach has created the sexiest man seen in literature in a good long time. This is Lucky Turtle, who, as 16-year-old Cindra Zoeller is about to learn, just keeps getting better the more you know him; his wilderness survival skills—which will come seriously into play—verge on the supernatural. What's more, the very next time they're alone together, taking the camp laundry into town, he reveals that his clairvoyant aunt has foreseen that she will be his wife. Fans of Roorbach's work—most recently The Girl of the Lake (2017)—have been waiting five years for this book and will not be disappointed. Again, the man has cooked up a completely captivating world, just a touch more magical and interesting than the real one. This time, it's a place called Turtle Butte, where a disgraced television actress has turned her attention to reforming misguided female youth at a facility called Camp Challenge. It's a slowly unfolding, complicated, suspenseful plot; it's safe to say that Cindra will not be reformed. There's no lane-staying for White guy Roorbach: His teenage-girl narrator is flawless; Chinese, Haitian, and Native characters are beautifully done. (Many sensitivity readers are thanked in the acknowledgments.) Lucky Turtle has his woodland lore and Native rituals; Cindra has her copy of Hawaii, which they read aloud from every night: "Michener was strong medicine."

An epic love story and love letter to the West. No greater reading pleasure to be had anywhere.

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64375-097-2

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

THE WOMEN

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.

When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781250178633

Page Count: 480

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

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IT STARTS WITH US

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 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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