Bewitching romance ripe for even more sequels.


The dead Shakespeare Garden on Graham Kirkwood’s ancestral English estate may well be cursed, and a preternaturally gifted gardener from New England could be his last hope.

Herrick (The Sparrow Sisters, 2015) returns to tell a second tale about the Sparrow Sisters and their magical gardens. Able to nurture any plant to flourishing beauty, as well as to heal any ache through their skilled tinctures, the sisters are the empathetic healers of Granite Point on the New England coast. Sorrel, the eldest sister, is still reeling from the tribulations of last summer, when her sister Patience was accused of causing the death of a young boy. The townspeople turned against the sisters, wrecking their nursery and sowing hate. Patience may have been acquitted and the town may have once again embraced its quirky hedgewitches and apothecaries, but Sorrel remains angry. The invitation to heal the ruined Kirkwood garden comes at a most opportune time. Once in England, however, Sorrel discovers not only a devastated garden, but also a broken man: the dashing Andrew Warburton, an Anglican priest whose faith in God and woman has fractured under the weight of a broken relationship. As love blossoms between Sorrel and Andrew, however, the garden’s curse looms darkly. A mysterious series of tapestries depicts a gruesome crime committed by one of the family’s patriarchs, and although several clues have been embroidered into the fabric, the final panel is missing, along with a diary kept by the patriarch’s long-suffering wife. As Sorrel delves into the soil, even more toxic secrets come to light—secrets that may endanger her life. Herrick spins a charming tale, deftly marrying dark Gothic elements to bright romance. She even titles each chapter with the name of a plant in the Shakespeare Garden, using the language of flowers—from “primula,” presaging new love, to “willow” for mourning—to deepen her spell.

Bewitching romance ripe for even more sequels.

Pub Date: April 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249995-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2017

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.


Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.


Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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