Although some of the Quinns' problems are resolved, many are not, happily promising a third installment next year.

WINTER STROLL

In a sequel to last year's holiday novel Winter Street, Hilderbrand improves on the first by delving deeper into the emotional lives of the Quinn clan.

A year has elapsed and the events that closed the first novel have developed: thanks to the generous $1 million loan from his first wife, world-renowned newscaster Margaret Quinn, Kelley can keep his Winter Street Inn open, although it's lonelier now that his wife, Mitzi, has left him for George, their one-time holiday Santa. Kelley and Mitzi's son, Bart, is still MIA in Afghanistan, and Mitzi is falling apart; unhappy with George, she spends most days drunk. The lives of Kelley and Margaret's three children are also in crisis. Patrick is now in prison for insider trading, while his wife, Jennifer, tries to hold their family together with the help of illicit prescription pills. Ava seems to have found “the one” with vice principal Scott, if only she could stop thinking about wild Nathaniel. And middle son Kevin has made good with girlfriend Isabelle and their infant, Genevieve. Hopefully he can avoid his first wife, the troubled Norah, who has returned to the island. This year's Winter Stroll, a Nantucket Christmas tradition, coincides with Genevieve's baptism, bringing together all the Quinns and their issues. Also on island for the festivities is Margaret's beau, Drake, a pediatric neurosurgeon and about as perfect as can be, if only Margaret and he could bow out of their schedules and enjoy each other's company. In the ensuing few days, everyone has life-altering decisions to make—even Ava, now that Nathaniel has returned to the island to propose. Only Nantucket itself is left unscathed by the juicy drama. Described in all its magic (after all these years, one hopes Hilderbrand is on the tourist board's payroll), it seems impossible for such turmoil to exist on the charmed island.

Although some of the Quinns' problems are resolved, many are not, happily promising a third installment next year.

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-316-26113-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2015

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner

  • National Book Award Finalist

A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Laymon moves us dazzlingly (and sometimes bewilderingly) from 1964 to 1985 to 2013 and incorporates themes of prejudice,...

LONG DIVISION

A novel within a novel—hilarious, moving and occasionally dizzying.

Citoyen “City” Coldson is a 14-year-old wunderkind when it comes to crafting sentences. In fact, his only rival is his classmate LaVander Peeler. Although the two don’t get along, they’ve qualified to appear on the national finals of the contest "Can You Use That Word in a Sentence," and each is determined to win. Unfortunately, on the nationally televised show, City is given the word “niggardly” and, to say the least, does not provide a “correct, appropriate or dynamic usage” of the word as the rules require. LaVander similarly blows his chance with the word “chitterlings,” so both are humiliated, City the more so since his appearance is available to all on YouTube. This leads to a confrontation with his grandmother, alas for City, “the greatest whupper in the history of Mississippi whuppings.” Meanwhile, the principal at City’s school has given him a book entitled Long Division. When City begins to read this, he discovers that the main character is named City Coldson, and he’s in love with a Shalaya Crump...but this is in 1985, and the contest finals occurred in 2013. (Laymon is nothing if not contemporary.) A girl named Baize Shephard also appears in the novel City is reading, though in 2013, she has mysteriously disappeared a few weeks before City’s humiliation. Laymon cleverly interweaves his narrative threads and connects characters in surprising and seemingly impossible ways.

Laymon moves us dazzlingly (and sometimes bewilderingly) from 1964 to 1985 to 2013 and incorporates themes of prejudice, confusion and love rooted in an emphatically post-Katrina world.

Pub Date: June 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-932841-72-5

Page Count: 250

Publisher: Bolden/Agate

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more