Brown conveys the importance of the arts in creating a life as well as the need to heed all voices, even those from the...

THE LIGHT OF PARIS

The lights of Paris act as a beacon for two generations of women in search of self-determination and fulfillment in Brown’s (The Weird Sisters, 2011, etc.) story of loves lost and found.

Unhappily married Madeleine resents, quietly and inwardly, the strictures placed upon her by her controlling and ambitious husband, Phillip, and chafes against her perfectionist mother’s expectations. Torn between a stultifying existence as a trophy wife and her lifelong but abandoned passion for painting, Madeleine embarks on a voyage of self-discovery, sparked by the unearthing of her grandmother’s diaries in the attic of her mother’s house. Inspired by the long-buried story of her grandmother Margie’s experiences in the Paris of the Lost Generation, Madeleine moves toward an understanding of what will help her navigate through the world on her own terms. With a voice that alternates every other chapter between Madeleine’s narration and excerpts from Margie’s recovered journals, Brown conveys the miseries and satisfactions of women’s journeys toward happiness in a tale balanced upon a family secret. While some characters—or their motivations—might have benefited from more fleshing out (Phillip is a stock controlling husband), the whimsy and romance of post–World War I Paris and Madeleine’s growing comfort with her newly reconstructed life (in a hometown that had previously brought only unhappiness) provide forward momentum. As Madeleine unravels the truths behind her grandmother’s story, she gathers insight into her own, equally complicated, story. With growing self-confidence and the aid of rediscovered friends and relatives, Madeleine approaches life in a different light and with the ability to make hard choices.

Brown conveys the importance of the arts in creating a life as well as the need to heed all voices, even those from the past, in looking to the future.

Pub Date: July 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-399-15891-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2016

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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