by Catherine Ryan Hyde ‧ RELEASE DATE: Dec. 13, 2016
A sentimental yet heartwarming tale of transgression and redemption.
In a heavily segregated community of 1959 Texas, a 12-year-old white boy befriends a black boy. Only trouble can follow.
It all begins when Pete Solomon decides to go fishing but finds an injured dog instead. Even though no one else wants anything to do with the possibly wild, probably dangerous, half-wolf hybrid lying at the side of the road, Pete can’t walk away. A victim of abuse at the hands of his father, Pete instinctively understands that he’ll have to gain the dog’s trust before he can load him onto his wagon and take him to the only person in town who might be willing to help: Dr. Lucy. A licensed physician, Lucy lives on the edge of town, treating humans as needed to support her ever expanding menagerie of rescued animals. She keeps her head down and her heart guarded behind a gruff facade; divorce and grief have left her vulnerable. On his way to Dr. Lucy’s house, Pete meets Justin Bell, a boy new to town, and the two become best friends though Pete is white and Justin is black. Soon enough, both Pete and Justin face violent repercussions for breaking the color barrier. And after meeting Justin’s father, Calvin, Lucy, too, falls into a socially dangerous love. Bestselling author of Pay it Forward (1999), Hyde (Leaving Blythe River, 2016, etc.) captures the determination of Justin and Pete’s friendship as well as the wistfulness of Pete’s love for the injured dog. Yet the love between Lucy and Calvin is rushed, underdeveloped, and difficult to believe. As the Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia approaches, Hyde fragments their love affair into sections set years apart, which certainly emphasizes the patience required of true love but unfortunately dilutes the intensity of the relationship.A sentimental yet heartwarming tale of transgression and redemption.
Pub Date: Dec. 13, 2016
Page Count: 364
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Review Posted Online: Sept. 18, 2016
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016
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A deeply satisfying novel, both sensuously vivid and remarkably poignant.
Norwegian novelist Jacobsen folds a quietly powerful coming-of-age story into a rendition of daily life on one of Norway’s rural islands a hundred years ago in a novel that was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.
Ingrid Barrøy, her father, Hans, mother, Maria, grandfather Martin, and slightly addled aunt Barbro are the owners and sole inhabitants of Barrøy Island, one of numerous small family-owned islands in an area of Norway barely touched by the outside world. The novel follows Ingrid from age 3 through a carefree early childhood of endless small chores, simple pleasures, and unquestioned familial love into her more ambivalent adolescence attending school off the island and becoming aware of the outside world, then finally into young womanhood when she must make difficult choices. Readers will share Ingrid’s adoration of her father, whose sense of responsibility conflicts with his romantic nature. He adores Maria, despite what he calls her “la-di-da” ways, and is devoted to Ingrid. Twice he finds work on the mainland for his sister, Barbro, but, afraid she’ll be unhappy, he brings her home both times. Rooted to the land where he farms and tied to the sea where he fishes, Hans struggles to maintain his family’s hardscrabble existence on an island where every repair is a struggle against the elements. But his efforts are Sisyphean. Life as a Barrøy on Barrøy remains precarious. Changes do occur in men’s and women’s roles, reflected in part by who gets a literal chair to sit on at meals, while world crises—a war, Sweden’s financial troubles—have unexpected impact. Yet the drama here occurs in small increments, season by season, following nature’s rhythm through deaths and births, moments of joy and deep sorrow. The translator’s decision to use roughly translated phrases in conversation—i.e., “Tha’s goen’ nohvar” for "You’re going nowhere")—slows the reading down at first but ends up drawing readers more deeply into the world of Barrøy and its prickly, intensely alive inhabitants.A deeply satisfying novel, both sensuously vivid and remarkably poignant.
Pub Date: April 7, 2020
Page Count: 272
Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020
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by Amor Towles ‧ RELEASE DATE: Sept. 6, 2016
A masterly encapsulation of modern Russian history, this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules...
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2016
New York Times Bestseller
Sentenced to house arrest in Moscow's Metropol Hotel by a Bolshevik tribunal for writing a poem deemed to encourage revolt, Count Alexander Rostov nonetheless lives the fullest of lives, discovering the depths of his humanity.
Inside the elegant Metropol, located near the Kremlin and the Bolshoi, the Count slowly adjusts to circumstances as a "Former Person." He makes do with the attic room, to which he is banished after residing for years in a posh third-floor suite. A man of refined taste in wine, food, and literature, he strives to maintain a daily routine, exploring the nooks and crannies of the hotel, bonding with staff, accepting the advances of attractive women, and forming what proves to be a deeply meaningful relationship with a spirited young girl, Nina. "We are bound to find comfort from the notion that it takes generations for a way of life to fade," says the companionable narrator. For the Count, that way of life ultimately becomes less about aristocratic airs and privilege than generosity and devotion. Spread across four decades, this is in all ways a great novel, a nonstop pleasure brimming with charm, personal wisdom, and philosophic insight. Though Stalin and Khrushchev make their presences felt, Towles largely treats politics as a dark, distant shadow. The chill of the political events occurring outside the Metropol is certainly felt, but for the Count and his friends, the passage of time is "like the turn of a kaleidoscope." Not for nothing is Casablanca his favorite film. This is a book in which the cruelties of the age can't begin to erase the glories of real human connection and the memories it leaves behind.A masterly encapsulation of modern Russian history, this book more than fulfills the promise of Towles' stylish debut, Rules of Civility (2011).
Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016
Page Count: 480
Review Posted Online: June 20, 2016
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016
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