A blend of emotional epiphany and golf fandom makes for a reasonably enjoyable read.



Miller’s debut novel follows an ad exec’s unexpected trip to Scotland’s Machrihanish Golf Course.

Ever since her parents divorced when she was a child, Kate McMalonan has organized her life down to the smallest detail. Having excelled in academics, school politics, and athletics, she has now, in her early 30s, assumed a powerful management position in the Los Angeles office of a New York advertising firm. Her future has been mapped out just as carefully; she plans to make partner by 35. She has no time for messy romantic entanglements that might divert her from her path, and communication with her parents has dwindled to a few calls a year. In the aftermath of his divorce, Kate’s journalist father, John, began to make annual pilgrimages to Machrihanish, a golf course in Scotland where he fell in with a raucous, bighearted group of golfers who welcomed him back every year. On one of these trips, however, John is killed in a car accident before reaching the course, obliging his Scottish compatriots to call Kate and arrange for her to travel to Scotland to identify the body. Thrown from her scheduled life into the world of thick accents, unfamiliar idioms, beer, and the warmth of genuine human connections, Kate must relearn how to take life as it comes—which means trusting not only other people, but also herself. Debut author Miller has woven an insider’s homage to golf with a story about a father and daughter reconnecting, even after death. Golfers will revel in the stats, the history, and the famous course landscapes, while those with little to no familiarity with the sport may find those sections a bit of a slog. While Miller’s transliterations of Scottish inflections take a bit of getting used to, over time they add charm.

A blend of emotional epiphany and golf fandom makes for a reasonably enjoyable read.

Pub Date: April 19, 2015

ISBN: 978-0986424434

Page Count: 240

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2015

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A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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