A family tale for modern times—detailed, thorough, and thoughtful—that rings true throughout.


This novel about pain and a search for redemption centers on a power broker in Washington, D.C.

It’s 2016, and Mark White, a 40-something widower, is in even worse shape than he realizes, which would surprise many people. He is the founder and CEO of White & Partners, a tremendously successful public relations firm in Washington that has clients all over the world, including in many emerging nations, within high-tech startups, and in domestic government entities. For those who need their companies’ reputations burnished or, just as important, salvaged, White & Partners is their best bet, their go-to. But after Mark’s wife, Monica, a very successful artist, was killed in a hit-and-run accident, leaving him with their young son, Colin, the magnate fell into a deep depression. Now he is gulping pills and drinking too much while trying to be a corporate superman. Soon, exhausted and rattled, he breaks down and White & Partners suffers, big time. And on top of this, he knows that he is neglecting Colin, who, unsurprisingly, has trouble coping himself. Will Mark work out a salvation for himself and his boy? Bovim writes very well. Readers see the story through Mark’s eyes, so the narration is a vivid part of it. Mark is a keen student of his surroundings and his own troubled soul, introspective almost to a fault. Here is part of his bitter reverie on San Francisco: “I thought about…the wannabe Beat poets…blocked novelists, failed and miserable, destitute jazz pianists and confused painters who still believed that they were one masterful triptych away from a retrospective at the Pompidou.” He describes his own numb travels (and travails) as continually “traversing the continent on United’s weary fleet.” What drives the engrossing book’s second half, the hunt for redemption portion, is Mark’s affection for his son, a genuine love even if it is saturated with guilt. Readers will be fervently hoping for the hero to triumph, silently cheering him on. Colin is preternaturally wise as father and son try to work together to save themselves.

A family tale for modern times—detailed, thorough, and thoughtful—that rings true throughout.

Pub Date: June 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-951937-38-6

Page Count: 324

Publisher: Epigraph

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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A flabby, fervid melodrama of a high-strung Southern family from Conroy (The Great Santini, The Lords of Discipline), whose penchant for overwriting once again obscures a genuine talent. Tom Wingo is an unemployed South Carolinian football coach whose internist wife is having an affair with a pompous cardiac man. When he hears that his fierce, beautiful twin sister Savannah, a well-known New York poet, has once again attempted suicide, he escapes his present emasculation by flying north to meet Savannah's comely psychiatrist, Susan Lowenstein. Savannah, it turns out, is catatonic, and before the suicide attempt had completely assumed the identity of a dead friend—the implication being that she couldn't stand being a Wingo anymore. Susan (a shrink with a lot of time on her hands) says to Tom, "Will you stay in New York and tell me all you know?" and he does, for nearly 600 mostly-bloated pages of flashbacks depicting The Family Wingo of swampy Colleton County: a beautiful mother, a brutal shrimper father (the Great Santini alive and kicking), and Tom and Savannah's much-admired older brother, Luke. There are enough traumas here to fall an average-sized mental ward, but the biggie centers around Luke, who uses the skills learned as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam to fight a guerrilla war against the installation of a nuclear power plant in Colleton and is killed by the authorities. It's his death that precipitates the nervous breakdown that costs Tom his job, and Savannah, almost, her life. There may be a barely-glimpsed smaller novel buried in all this succotash (Tom's marriage and life as a football coach), but it's sadly overwhelmed by the book's clumsy central narrative device (flashback ad infinitum) and Conroy's pretentious prose style: ""There are no verdicts to childhood, only consequences, and the bright freight of memory. I speak now of the sun-struck, deeply lived-in days of my past.

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 1986

ISBN: 0553381547

Page Count: 686

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 30, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1986

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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