Proust meets John Irving in this grand and delightful comedy of manners.

A SAINT FROM TEXAS

Twin girls from Texas oil money go on to fabulous destinies.

“We moved as far away from Daddy as we could get—to Colombia in my case, to Paris in yours. Neither of us lives in our native language. I’m called Sister and you’re called Baroness. We never returned to Texas.” The National Book Foundation gave White a lifetime achievement award in 2019 and his latest book might be seen as a fun thank-you gift to readers. Though this high-spirited confection is something of a departure for an author known as a cultural critic and chronicler of contemporary gay culture, it's steeped in White’s ironic worldview and mines both his well-known obsessions (France, the French, their language) and lesser-known ones (Catholicism, convent life, the path to sainthood). And, come to think of it, there are plenty of gay and bi characters, and really eloquent descriptions of genitalia. “Our mother had named us out of a movie fan magazine, Yvonne and Yvette, but she was so ignorant she said our names “Why-Von” and “Why-Vet”…We were 14 and real Texas beauties with our blond hair, tiny ears, long legs, and high breasts, though our...mother made us cover them up with extra-large blouses." After their mother died and their father remarried, "All that changed under Bobbie Jean. She made us say our names in the proper French way and corrected our old relatives who mispronounced them—'I’m sorry,' Bobbie Jean said, 'but we’re not that country.' " By the time the girls’ story ends in far-flung corners of the globe with both high crimes and miracles to their names, they are certainly not country anymore. Narrated by Yvonne with long letters from Yvette, including cameos by Givenchy, Audrey Hepburn, and Jacqueline Bouvier, the novel brims with wit and style.

Proust meets John Irving in this grand and delightful comedy of manners.

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63557-255-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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Honestly, who needs Nantucket. It could hardly be more fun than this book.

THE HOTEL NANTUCKET

Bring on the fresh-baked gougères and the hydrangea-blue cashmere throws: A classic fictional setting—the grand hotel—gets the Hilderbrand treatment.

The beloved beach novelist’s 28th book is another tour de force, deploying all her usual tricks and tropes and clever points of view, again among them a character from the afterlife and the collective “we” of gossipy island residents. Our ghost is Grace Hadley, a teenage chambermaid who died under suspicious circumstances in a hotel fire in 1922. Grace’s lonely days are over when the historic property is purchased and reopened by a London billionaire. As Xavier Darling tells his general manager, Lizbet Keaton, their goal will be to get five out of five keys from Shelly Carpenter, an undercover hotel blogger who has not awarded top honors to any spot visited so far. A gorgeous remodel, a sterling staff, free treats in the minibar, and—of course, since this is Hilderbrand—an incredible restaurant where a disco ball drops from the ceiling every night at 9 p.m. and the chef is hotter than any dish on the menu are all in play as the first guests come streaming in. Which one is the hard-to-please Ms. Carpenter? Other addictive storylines include a rich kid cleaning rooms to expiate some mysterious, terrible thing he did this past spring, an evil beauty breaking up island marriages (instead of a gun in the drawer, there's a half-used Chanel eye shadow in Pourpre Brun), and the desperate attempts of Lizbet’s ex, who sexted with their wine rep, to win her back. One of the special services Lizbet creates for the guests of the Hotel Nantucket is a “Blue Book” containing all her recommended island itineraries. A real-life version is included as an appendix, giving the complete scoop on where to eat, drink, sunbathe, shop, and stay on the island, plus notes on which Hilderbrand novels happened where. If you’re ready to check out Chicken Box or to try the sandwiches on herb bread that lured the author to become a permanent island resident in 1993, the Elin Hilderbrand Bucket List Weekend really is a thing.

Honestly, who needs Nantucket. It could hardly be more fun than this book.

Pub Date: June 14, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-316-25867-8

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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