An engaging tale of familial history and cross-cultural romances.

READ REVIEW

A Mansion on the Moon

A debut historical novel examines three generations of women on the island of Guam and their complicated liaisons. 

Gault weaves a tale that showcases the difficulties of inhabiting Guam, an island at the center of several political and natural disasters. The story follows one family across several decades, depicting events that span three wars. The book opens just after the Spanish-American War, when Guam becomes a territory of the United States. Maria Amanda de Leon, a beautiful, youthful Chamorro girl, native to the island of Guam, becomes irrevocably smitten with an American GI. Their ill-fated romance ends with the birth of a daughter just as the American seaman is called home to the United States permanently. Amanda’s daughter, Sylvia, grows up to endure her own beautiful but short-lived romance with a Chamorro man by the name of Constantino “Tino” Flores Camacho. Through no fault of his own, Tino becomes solely responsible for raising the couple’s daughter, Vivian, who, like her grandmother Amanda before her, falls in love with an American soldier. As each of these women navigates a complex relationship, the reader sees the people of Guam struggle to cope with natural disasters, like severe earthquakes and raging storms, as well as political turmoil caused by global uncertainty and seemingly continuous warfare. Throughout this nuanced, appealing, and often heart-wrenching story, Gault provides rich details about the Chamorro people and island life. In unhurried prose, the author offers perspectives from several of the book’s characters, allowing the reader to synthesize the varying viewpoints and create a complete picture. The extensive cultural descriptions specific to Guam and its people add a depth and singularity to the narrative, preventing this wartime romance from coming across as trite. While Gault tackles weighty political issues, including, most of all, the challenges of colonial rule, she also manages to tell a story that is simultaneously wistful and uplifting. 

An engaging tale of familial history and cross-cultural romances.

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5144-2704-0

Page Count: 276

Publisher: Xlibris

Review Posted Online: Nov. 7, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • IndieBound Bestseller

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

Complications abound in this well-crafted, light holiday romance.

CHRISTMAS AT LITTLE BEACH STREET BAKERY

Talented baker Polly Waterford doesn’t know what to do when her best friend, Kerensa, swears her to secrecy. Kerensa’s drunken one-night stand may jeopardize not only her pregnancy, but also her marriage, not to mention Polly’s engagement to Huckle.

Fans of Colgan's (The Café by the Sea, 2017, etc.) Mount Polbearne stories will delight—and new fans will find an easy, charming entry into the saga—as Polly, Huckle, and Neil (the puffin) return for the Christmas season. Having survived the dissolution of her graphic design business, Polly is now happily ensconced with Huckle, whose honey business is not yet thriving, in the historic lighthouse they bought in the sweet Cornish village (practically an island) whose only road to civilization is submerged under the sea twice each day. As the yuletide season approaches, however, Polly must face a bewildering number of obstacles. Is she ready to marry Huckle? Is she ready to start a family? How can she know when her own father abandoned her before she was even born? How can she give up an entire day’s profits to the Mount Polbearne Christmas fair? How can she save the endangered puffin sanctuary? How will she ever bake enough for the fair plus cater a huge holiday party for Kerensa and her fabulously wealthy husband, Reuben? And how will Kerensa ever survive Reuben’s wrath if the baby turns out not to be his but some 6-foot-4 Brazilian man’s? Supported by the ever faithful Huckle and Neil's endearing eeps, Polly carries on from the cozy bed in the icy lighthouse, trailing flour and knishes wherever she goes. Keeping secrets, pleasing everyone, and balancing so many jobs keeps Polly busy—that is, until a massive winter storm threatens everything.

Complications abound in this well-crafted, light holiday romance.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-266299-6

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more