The novel’s predictability will likely delight Steel’s die-hard fans, but it won’t win any new ones.

A PERFECT LIFE

A highly successful woman ponders romance with a younger man.

Steel (Until the End of Time, 2013, etc.) returns with her latest romance. Blaise McCarthy is our heroine. With huge green eyes, red hair, fine features and a fantastic figure, Blaise could easily pass for a woman in her 30s, even though she is practically pushing 50. With stark exposition, Steel outlines a life littered with romantic troubles. Her first husband, a cameraman, died while covering news from an unspecified war zone; her second husband, a venture capitalist 22 years her senior, gave her a beloved daughter, but they soon drifted apart from each other; her next serious relationship crashed and burned when she discovered that charming Andrew Weyland had no intention of ever divorcing his wife. Luckily, her daughter, Salima, thoughtfully understands that Blaise’s job as a renowned television journalist must take precedence over time together. Blinded by juvenile diabetes, Salima still lives with a personal caregiver on the grounds of the Caldwell School in Massachusetts. It’s a perfect life, if you disregard the loneliness of coming home to an empty apartment and limiting love to dinner dates with billionaire Saudi oil executives. It’s a perfect life until Salima’s caregiver dies, the Caldwell school is shut down under quarantine, and Salima is sent home with Simon, her gorgeous, new, very male caregiver. And then there’s the arrival of Susie Quentin, the beautiful, younger new anchor jockeying for Blaise’s job. Forced to take Salima and Simon into her home, Blaise must not only endure disruptions to her routine, but also face the fact that she is strongly attracted to Simon. But could he possibly want an older woman who may not be able to give him the family he wants?

The novel’s predictability will likely delight Steel’s die-hard fans, but it won’t win any new ones.

Pub Date: July 15, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-345-53094-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

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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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

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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