Hardly groundbreaking, but a beach tote couldn’t ask for more.



Another female-empowering, feel-good novel from Cook, who in this seventh outing (The Wildwater Walking Club, 2009, etc.) cautions against the return of the bad husband.

Jill gets by, but just barely. Seven years ago, her husband Seth left for Africa and the Peace Corps with little more than a goodbye note, leaving Jill and their three-year-old daughter Anastasia destitute. Slowly Jill has built a modest life for herself—she owns a house (luckily the questionable neighborhood has become safely gentrified) and has a few jobs that pay the bills: offering weekly lessons in international cuisine at the community center; as a call operator at Great Girlfriend Getaways; and the occasional consulting gig in international relations. Jill is smart, but working herself up from the nothing that Seth left her with has taken its toll. Just as the present is beginning to seem pretty good, Seth returns. After seven years without a call or letter, let alone child support, Seth is hoping Jill and Anastasia will forgive him. Anastasia is thrilled to have a daddy and the gifts are great; Jill is seething. Everything becomes quickly complicated: Seth and Anastasia are developing a wonderful relationship; Seth wants to return to their marriage; then Jill and Seth sleep together, and, really, it wasn’t so bad. Jill wonders if she shouldn’t just forgive Seth and allow the three of them to move on. But then there’s Billy, a client of Jill’s who is smart and funny and grown up in ways Seth never was. What’s a gal to do? Go to Costa Rica on a Girlfriend Getaway and hope a little yoga, belly dancing and girl time will sort it all out. Cook hits her marks—exploring the role of single women as they try to navigate work and family—all with good-natured humor and a little examination of what it means to be independent (it’s not all fun).

Hardly groundbreaking, but a beach tote couldn’t ask for more.

Pub Date: June 8, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-4013-4116-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Strebor/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2010

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A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.


In Walsh’s American debut, a woman desperately tries to find out why the man she spent a whirlwind week with never called.

Sarah has just separated from her American husband and is visiting her hometown in England when she meets Eddie. He’s kind and charming, and although they only spend one week together, she falls in love. When he has to leave for a trip, she knows they’ll keep in touch—they’re already making plans for the rest of their lives. But then Eddie never calls, and Sarah’s increasingly frantic efforts to contact him are fruitless. Is he hurt? Is he dead? As her friends tell her, there’s a far greater likelihood that he’s just blowing her off—she’s been ghosted. After trying to track Eddie down at a football game, Sarah starts to become ashamed of herself—after all, she’s almost 40 years old and she’s essentially stalking a man who never called her. But as Sarah slowly learns, she and Eddie didn’t actually meet randomly—they both have a connection to an accident that happened years ago, and it may have something to do with why he disappeared. The tension quickly amps up as the secrets of Eddie’s and Sarah’s pasts are revealed, and the truth behind their connection is genuinely surprising and heartbreaking. The barriers between Sarah and Eddie seem insurmountable at times, and although their issues are resolved in a tidy manner, the emotions behind their actions are always believable. Walsh has created a deeply moving romance with an intriguing mystery and a touching portrait of grief at its heart.

A romantic, sad, and ultimately hopeful book that’s perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Pub Date: July 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-52277-5

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

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A withdrawn graduate student embarks on an epic quest to restore balance to the world in this long-anticipated follow-up to The Night Circus (2011).

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a typical millennial introvert; he likes video games, escapist reading, and drinking sidecars. But when he recognizes himself in the pages of a mysterious book from the university library, he's unnerved—and determined to uncover the truth. What begins as a journey for answers turns into something much bigger, and Zachary must decide whether to trust the handsome stranger he meets at a highflying literary fundraiser in New York or to retreat back to his thesis and forget the whole affair. In a high-wire feat of metatextual derring-do, Morgenstern weaves Zachary's adventure into a stunning array of linked fables, myths, and origin stories. There are pirates and weary travelers, painters who can see the future, lovers torn asunder, a menacing Owl King, and safe harbors for all the stories of the world, far below the Earth on the golden shores of a Starless Sea. Clocking in at more than 500 pages, the novel requires patience as Morgenstern puts all the pieces in place, but it is exquisitely pleasurable to watch the gears of this epic fantasy turn once they're set in motion. As in The Night Circus, Morgenstern is at her best when she imagines worlds and rooms and parties in vivid detail, right down to the ballroom stairs "festooned with lanterns and garlands of paper dipped in gold" or a cloak carved from ice with "ships and sailors and sea monsters...lost in the drifting snow." This novel is a love letter to readers as much as an invitation: Come and see how much magic is left in the world. Fans of Neil Gaiman and V.E. Schwab, Kelly Link and Susanna Clarke will want to heed the call.

An ambitious and bewitching gem of a book with mystery and passion inscribed on every page.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54121-3

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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