A moving depiction of family life following great loss.

INDEPENDENCE

The members of a Hindu family torn apart during the chaos of Partition in India try to rebuild their lives and community in this deeply felt novel.

Nabakumar, a Bengali village doctor, and Bina, his quiltmaker wife, are looking forward to India’s independence from British rule and the possibilities they hope it will bring for their three daughters: Deepa, Jamini, and Priya, whether in terms of marriages or educational pursuits. Instead, despite his optimism for the future, Nabakumar is killed during a riot that follows a Muslim political party meeting outside of his medical clinic in Calcutta, a loss which upends the family and renders them even more dependent on their neighbors. In the aftermath, mother and daughters struggle to earn money and to ensure their own safety. Deepa must hide her relationship with a Muslim man and is disowned by her mother when it is discovered. Their secret cross-religion marriage becomes even more dangerous as her husband becomes politically powerful in the Muslim League, and the two must relocate to the newly created Pakistan. Priya is at a loss for how to follow in her father’s footsteps to become a doctor, especially after she is denied entry to a local college due to ongoing discrimination against women. When she is accepted into medical school in the United States after an offer to finance her education, the decision of whether to pursue her dreams strains her relationship with Amit, a longtime family friend and her fiance, whom Jamini is also in love with. As the threats mount, the sisters are forced to rely on each other once again in a culminating rush of events. The author’s latest novel is an engaging family saga that explores resilience against a backdrop of violent national upheaval. The story is well paced as it follows its cast of characters through a chaotic world while still capturing the rich interiority of each of the three daughters.

A moving depiction of family life following great loss.

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-06-314238-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2022

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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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