Next book

IONA IVERSON'S RULES FOR COMMUTING

A soothing story where bad things happen yet are overcome, and friendship leads the way to personal acceptance and rebirth.

Seven people’s lives intersect as they commute to and from London each day.

Iona, at 57, is a one-time it girl and current eccentric lesbian who’s an advice columnist for the staid Modern Woman magazine. Piers is a middle-aged mansplainer, manspreader, and impeccably tailored futures trader. Sanjay is a young, empathetic—yet anxious—nurse on the oncology ward at a London hospital. Emmie is a pretty, red-haired bookworm in her late 20s who works in digital advertising and feels underwhelmed with her career arc. Martha is a teenager dealing with all the angst, drama, bullying, and social ostracization that runs rife in school. Jake is a personal trainer who owns the coolest gym around. And David, a lawyer in his late 60s, is the kind of nondescript commuter no one really ever notices or remembers. All seven travel back and forth on the same train; over the years, they’ve noticed, nicknamed, and studiously avoided talking to one another. But when Piers chokes on a grape one morning, his seatmate Emmie doesn’t know what to do, Iona calls for help, and Sanjay swoops in to the rescue. They begin talking to one another, and eventually others enter their circle. As she did in The Authenticity Project (2020), author Pooley has created a cast of individual characters whose lives intersect around a focal point. As the story unfolds, readers learn about the complexities that make each character tick: their hopes, dreams, fears, and flaws. Job struggles and loss, money problems, panic attacks, and love all have their places in this story, as do the problems of dealing with homophobia, ageism, poison-pen missives, divorced parents, a nude picture accidentally becoming public, and an emotionally abusive relationship. But each character still triumphs by the end.

A soothing story where bad things happen yet are overcome, and friendship leads the way to personal acceptance and rebirth.

Pub Date: June 7, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-98-487864-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 117


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

THE WOMEN

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 117


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.

When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.

A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.

Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9781250178633

Page Count: 480

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 87


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

HAPPY PLACE

A wistfully nostalgic look at endings, beginnings, and loving the people who will always have your back.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 87


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Exes pretend they’re still together for the sake of their friends on their annual summer vacation.

Wyn Connor and Harriet Kilpatrick were the perfect couple—until Wyn dumped Harriet for reasons she still doesn’t fully understand. They’ve been part of the same boisterous friend group since college, and they know that their breakup will devastate the others and make things more than a little awkward. So they keep it a secret from their friends and families—in fact, Harriet barely even admits it to herself, focusing instead on her grueling hours as a surgical resident. She’s ready for a vacation at her happy place—the Maine cottage she and her friends visit every summer. But (surprise!) Wyn is there too, and he and Harriet have to share a (very romantic) room and a bed. Telling the truth about their breakup is out of the question, because the cottage is up for sale, and this is the group’s last hurrah. Determined to make sure everyone has the perfect last trip, Harriet and Wyn resolve to fake their relationship for the week. The problem with this plan, of course, is that Harriet still has major feelings for Wyn—feelings that only get stronger as they pretend to be blissfully in love. As always, Henry’s dialogue is sparkling and the banter between characters is snappy and hilarious. Wyn and Harriet’s relationship, shown both in the past and the present, feels achingly real. Their breakup, as well as their complicated relationships with their own families, adds a twinge of melancholy, as do the relatable growing pains of a group of friends whose lives are taking them in different directions.

A wistfully nostalgic look at endings, beginnings, and loving the people who will always have your back.

Pub Date: April 25, 2023

ISBN: 9780593441275

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

Close Quickview