Beautifully lyrical, with philosophical reflections on love and fate, family and politics, culture and history.



A love story in which the personal is, inevitably, political.

Early on, Maya Dror announces to her mother, Shlomtzion, that she is engaged to be married in three weeks to Ariel Berman, son of the prominent rabbi Yair Berman. Maya, however, has never known of her mothers past life: that a long time ago, Shlomtzion and Yair had been each other’s immortal beloved, that each had a common dream for the future (to establish an ideal society) and that Shlomtzion’s life had been shattered by a revered rabbi’s refusal to bless the engagement. The parallel engagement of their children offers Shlomtzion an opportunity to reflect on what might have been and on how both she and Yair dealt with the trauma of their forced separation. Their relationship plays out against the historical drama of the Six Day War and ends just prior to the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, so the cultural currents of contemporary Israel underlie much of the action and of the characters’ political orientations. Maya, for example, has a commitment to live in a “new” settlement and is contemptuous of both Rabin and of the Oslo Accords, while Shlomtzion has turned from orthodoxy to secularism. Part of the novel revolves around her rediscovery of the possibilities of commitment to love and to religion. In her internal monologues addressed to Yair, Shlomtzion raises the major philosophical questions of the novel: “What does life want from us. . . . How long can a person meander through the maze that existence puts him in?” And the answer that emerges lies in the mystery of existence itself: that we decide “to come into the world in spite of everything, to be created despite how much easier it is not to bother.”

Beautifully lyrical, with philosophical reflections on love and fate, family and politics, culture and history.

Pub Date: May 1, 2007

ISBN: 1-59264-145-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Toby Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2007

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A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

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The much-loved royal romance genre gets a fun and refreshing update in McQuiston’s debut.

Alex Claremont-Diaz, son of the American President Ellen Claremont, knows one thing for sure: He hates Henry, the British prince to whom he is always compared. He lives for their verbal sparring matches, but when one of their fights at a royal wedding goes a bit too far, they end up falling into a wedding cake and making tabloid headlines. An international scandal could ruin Alex’s mother’s chances for re-election, so it’s time for damage control. The plan? Alex and Henry must pretend to be best friends, giving the tabloids pictures of their bromance and neutralizing the threat to Ellen's presidency. But after a few photo ops with Henry, Alex starts to realize that the passionate anger he feels toward him might be a cover for regular old passion. There are, naturally, a million roadblocks between their first kiss and their happily-ever-after—how can American political royalty and actual British royalty ever be together? How can they navigate being open about their sexualities (Alex is bisexual; Henry is gay) in their very public and very scrutinized roles? Alex and Henry must decide if they’ll risk their futures, their families, and their careers to take a chance on happiness. Although the story’s premise might be a fantasy—it takes place in a world in which a divorced-mom Texan Democrat won the 2016 election—the emotions are all real. The love affair between Alex and Henry is intense and romantic, made all the more so by the inclusion of their poetic emails that manage to be both funny and steamy. McQuiston’s strength is in dialogue; her characters speak in hilarious rapid-fire bursts with plenty of “likes,” “ums,” creative punctuation, and pop-culture references, sounding like smarter, funnier versions of real people. Although Alex and Henry’s relationship is the heart of the story, their friends and family members are all rich, well-drawn characters, and their respective worlds feel both realistic and larger-than-life.

A clever, romantic, sexy love story.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-31677-6

Page Count: 432

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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