by Eris Field ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 7, 2016
An often charming, if lightweight, tale with memorable characters and a tender love story.
When a Turkish immigrant and a Dutch psychiatrist fall in love, a devastating diagnosis threatens to separate them forever in Field’s (Lattices of Love, 2015, etc.) latest romance.
On a cold winter night in western New York, psychiatrist Pieter Bentinck heads toward a liquor store looking for a bottle of premium Dutch gin for his mentor, Dr. Carl Ahren. There, he encounters a woman whose striking beauty leaves him breathless. Upon arriving at Carl’s home, Pieter discovers that the mysterious woman frequently stays there. Her name is Janan Coers, and Carl’s family adopted her after she was orphaned by an earthquake in her native Turkey. Pieter and Janan have both given up on finding love, but they feel a connection to each other that’s soon tested when Pieter is diagnosed with leukemia. On the eve of his return to Amsterdam, they spend an evening together, during which Pieter tempts Janan with eight tantalizing kisses. Later, she faces a dilemma when she learns she’s pregnant with twins. When Carl decides to return to his home country, he makes an offer that would provide security for Janan and the babies. But her choice could put a future with Pieter at risk. Field’s fast-paced romance features a compelling central love story and well-developed protagonists; their relationship develops quickly but never seems forced or contrived. But a promising subplot involving one of the supporting characters needs more detail. Although Carl drives much of the narrative, his story is less successful; he’s a Dutch Jew who was sent to America prior to the outbreak of World War II, and he’s struggling to reclaim his family’s home and fortune and concerned about the motives of his great-nephew, Arnold. However, it’s unclear whether Arnold truly has ulterior motives, as he’s only mentioned in passing.An often charming, if lightweight, tale with memorable characters and a tender love story.
Pub Date: March 7, 2016
Page Count: 184
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Review Posted Online: June 15, 2016
Review Program: Kirkus Indie
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by Hanya Yanagihara ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2015
The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Awards & Accolades
Best Books Of 2015
National Book Award Finalist
Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.
Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.
Pub Date: March 10, 2015
Page Count: 720
Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015
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by Harper Lee ‧ RELEASE DATE: July 11, 1960
A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.
Pub Date: July 11, 1960
Page Count: 323
Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960
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