by Elliot Ackerman ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 26, 2020
A novel in which relationships develop more from pragmatism than passion.
At the intersection of love, art, and politics, characters within a romantic triangle and a few just outside it discover that they're puppets whose strings have been pulled by a bureaucracy and whose fates are connected in ways beyond their control.
The latest from a novelist who's both been a Marine and worked in the White House opens with a reception for photographer Peter, an American expatriate in Istanbul, to celebrate his provocative series of shots from a recent protest in Istanbul. Among the attendees is Catherine, another expatriate American and the wife of a high-profile Turkish real estate magnate; she is having an affair with Peter, and much to his surprise, she's brought her young son, William, to the reception. Addressing the party is Kristin, an American diplomat in Cultural Affairs, who has apparently helped facilitate the photographs (and perhaps the protest that they document). The reception is being held at the apartment of Deniz, the director of the gallery presenting the exhibition. Catherine’s husband, Murat, waits at home for his wife and son, who return much later than he had anticipated. There is a blowout; Catherine and William flee to Peter, and she hopes they can return to America with him. The rest of the novel alternates the narrative tension of a woman caught between two men over the course of a single day, with flashbacks that provide context on the marriage, the affair, the protest, and the much larger web in which these characters are caught, mostly without their knowledge. The novel is deftly plotted, though the characters themselves seem more like pawns in the author’s narrative scheme, lacking much flesh-and-blood depth, though perhaps this is a reflection of the “moral hollowness” that Catherine suspects in herself, as she is suspended between a marriage of convenience and what might seem to be an affair of convenience. As Kristin says, “Each of us has to live....No matter how we do it.”A novel in which relationships develop more from pragmatism than passion.
Pub Date: May 26, 2020
Page Count: 288
Review Posted Online: March 1, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020
Share your opinion of this book
by Lisa Jewell ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2018
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
Page Count: 368
Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018
Share your opinion of this book
by Christina Lauren ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2018
With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.
Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.
Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.
Pub Date: April 10, 2018
Page Count: 416
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018
Share your opinion of this book
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!