An entertaining glimpse into Manhattan’s 19th-century high society and the conflict between tradition and innovation.

OUR KIND OF PEOPLE

In New York City’s Gilded Age, one family struggles to maintain their place among the other members of high society.

Despite her prestigious Dutch roots and copious family money, Helen Maitland wasn't particularly popular among the eligible bachelors of Manhattan, and she was at risk of ending up a spinster. Then she fell for Joshua Wilcox, a country boy who lived near her family’s summer home. Her mother would surely have forbidden the match, but after discovering Helen in a compromising position, she has no choice but to allow the marriage to proceed. Years later, in 1874, it’s time for Helen and Joshua to present their eldest daughter, Jemima, to society, and Helen worries that her husband’s subpar pedigree may jeopardize Jemima’s chance at an advantageous match. Worse yet, Joshua has made poor financial decisions, and the consequences seem to be bearing out at the worst possible time. As the family falls from riches to rags, invitations to social events quickly dwindle, as do friendly visits from other members of Manhattan’s elite. In addition, both Jemima and her younger sister, Alice, have begun developing feelings for specific gentlemen who are clearly outside the purview of their mother’s desires for them. As this novel of manners meanders forward, the narrative shifts perspectives frequently, offering insights from many of the different characters, including Joshua and Helen, both of their daughters, and other members of the New York gentry. Characters travel around town to Washington Square Park, Delmonico’s, the opera, and other exciting locales, treating readers to many delightful details about Manhattan in the latter part of the 19th century. Character development and plot movement are strongest in the first third of the novel, after which the pace slows considerably. Even so, fans of Bridgerton and Downton Abbey will delight in this period piece and its plethora of charming details about fabrics, dance cards, and decorum.

An entertaining glimpse into Manhattan’s 19th-century high society and the conflict between tradition and innovation.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-525-54002-1

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

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

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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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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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