A captivating and skillfully constructed weaving of history and romantic drama.


A novel set in Harlem during the early 1960s explores competing factions in the civil rights movement.

Jason Tanner has just made a momentous decision. Sitting at a table in Atlanta’s Paschal’s Restaurant with the major leaders of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent protest campaign—including a young man named John Lewis, who would become a civil rights icon— Jason volunteers to set up a grassroots outreach storefront in New York City. His parents are not pleased that their eldest child, who had never stepped foot outside of Georgia until he joined King’s march on Washington, D.C., is heading up north to a city filled with danger. Meanwhile, in that very city, Anita Hopkins, born in Brooklyn, is attending a Malcolm X rally. “You don’t have a peaceful revolution. You don’t have a turn-the-cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a nonviolent revolution,” he intones. Anita cheers along with the crowd, handing out leaflets and encouraging his supporters. In September 1963, Jason boards the bus from Atlanta to New York. As passengers disembark at a Philadelphia rest stop, he strikes up a conversation with a beautiful young woman sitting across the aisle. And so the “do-gooder” Georgia boy meets the fiery, street-wise city girl. Their first encounter does not end well. Hill’s enjoyable, well-paced, and deftly structured novel, which features historical photographs, is filled with musical allusions, including a Christmas Motown spectacular at the Apollo Theater. Her descriptions of the sights, aromas, and tempo of Harlem—the ’60s Northern Black cultural and intellectual center—in all its diversity, are vivid and reflected through two strong, fully drawn protagonists. They are opposite sides of a coin—he is shy and uncertain about his future in New York; she is an exuberant poet with a beautiful voice. He is gentle, speaking in a soft Southern cadence; she is passionate and edgy. He is a pacifist; she is a militant. But the vibrancy of Harlem, the excitement of listening to Anita read her poetry at the B-Flat nightclub, and a magnetic connection that keeps each in the other’s thoughts eventually work their magic in this powerful tale.

A captivating and skillfully constructed weaving of history and romantic drama.

Pub Date: Nov. 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64063-829-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Sideways Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2020

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Still, a respectful and absorbing page-turner.


Hannah’s new novel is an homage to the extraordinary courage and endurance of Frenchwomen during World War II.

In 1995, an elderly unnamed widow is moving into an Oregon nursing home on the urging of her controlling son, Julien, a surgeon. This trajectory is interrupted when she receives an invitation to return to France to attend a ceremony honoring passeurs: people who aided the escape of others during the war. Cut to spring, 1940: Viann has said goodbye to husband Antoine, who's off to hold the Maginot line against invading Germans. She returns to tending her small farm, Le Jardin, in the Loire Valley, teaching at the local school and coping with daughter Sophie’s adolescent rebellion. Soon, that world is upended: The Germans march into Paris and refugees flee south, overrunning Viann’s land. Her long-estranged younger sister, Isabelle, who has been kicked out of multiple convent schools, is sent to Le Jardin by Julien, their father in Paris, a drunken, decidedly unpaternal Great War veteran. As the depredations increase in the occupied zone—food rationing, systematic looting, and the billeting of a German officer, Capt. Beck, at Le Jardin—Isabelle’s outspokenness is a liability. She joins the Resistance, volunteering for dangerous duty: shepherding downed Allied airmen across the Pyrenees to Spain. Code-named the Nightingale, Isabelle will rescue many before she's captured. Meanwhile, Viann’s journey from passive to active resistance is less dramatic but no less wrenching. Hannah vividly demonstrates how the Nazis, through starvation, intimidation and barbarity both casual and calculated, demoralized the French, engineering a community collapse that enabled the deportations and deaths of more than 70,000 Jews. Hannah’s proven storytelling skills are ideally suited to depicting such cataclysmic events, but her tendency to sentimentalize undermines the gravitas of this tale.

Still, a respectful and absorbing page-turner.

Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-312-57722-3

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014

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A tense history-based thriller filled with anguish and suspense.


A poignant story of courage, misogyny, and misused power.

In 1947, Elinor White lives in a village in Kent in a grace-and-favor house, rewarded for her service to the crown, and keeps her own counsel. A farmworkers's cottage nearby is home to the Mackie family: Jim, Rose, and little Susie, who befriends the wary Elinor. Jim comes from a family of notorious London gangsters, and when they want him to return to the fold, they'll resort to violence to convince him. In interspersed chapters we learn about the background that Elinor keeps to herself: She was a spy during both world wars. Back in 1914, in Belgium, 10-year-old Elinor, youngest daughter of a Belgian father and English mother, tries to catch a boat to England along with her mother and sister, Cecily, before the German advance, but they're too late and return to their home, now under occupation. Some time later, a mysterious woman named Isabelle approaches their mother and recruits the two girls to spy on the Germans. It's easy for schoolgirls to appear innocuous as they count the number of trains that pass by their village. The sisters are trained in sabotage and self-defense. Elinor is a natural, but Cecily is not, and when Elinor kills two German soldiers trying to rape her sister, Isabelle smuggles them out to England—where Elinor faces another war, decades later, by working with the Special Operations Executive and returning to Belgium. Now she hopes her contacts from those days will save Jim from the clutches of the Mackie family. Her wartime experiences come back to haunt her, leaving her unable to trust anyone. In the end, it’s the gangsters who tell her the truth that will shatter her world and give her hope for the future.

A tense history-based thriller filled with anguish and suspense.

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780062867988

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2023

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