IF YOU AWAKEN LOVE

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 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2007

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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

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

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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 6, 2014

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