A heartbreaking but deeply humane story about parents and children.

FOSTER

A modern Irish classic, first published in 2010, finally makes its way to America.

At the beginning of this pristine novella, a young, unnamed girl is sent to stay with childless relatives at their farm in County Wexford, Ireland, for the summer. Her parents have temporarily disposed of her due to her mother’s latest pregnancy and the strain of feeding their large family. Despite having been unceremoniously abandoned with relatives she barely knows, Keegan’s narrator quickly warms to Mr. and Mrs. Kinsella and blossoms under their care. While her father views her as little more than a burden and a potential tool—“She’ll ate,” he tells the Kinsellas, “but ye can work her”—and her mother is eager to get rid of her, her foster parents not only bathe, clothe, and feed her, but also provide her with enough care and attention to expand her conception of what family and love can be. Sadly, though, her golden summer cannot last forever. Like all of Keegan’s work, including last year’s Booker Prize–longlisted Small Things Like These, this novella is both concise and gut-wrenching. Her superficially simple prose persuasively conveys a child’s sometimes-innocent but always careful and insightful observations of the world. Keegan suggests that children see and understand more than adults might like to think without turning her narrator into a miniature grown-up. “Walking back along the path and through the fields, holding her hand, I feel I have her balanced,” the narrator reflects, thinking of Mrs. Kinsella. “I try to remember another time when I felt like this and am sad because I can’t remember a time, and happy, too, because I cannot.” The novella crescendos in a final scene that will inspire many to call their fathers—once they’ve finished weeping.

A heartbreaking but deeply humane story about parents and children.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-8021-6014-0

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Grove

Review Posted Online: Oct. 4, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2022

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

THE BOARDWALK BOOKSHOP

Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.

Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-778-38608-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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