A tale of personal despair and recovery, and a careful look at domestic violence. The grace in Bernie's character lifts this...

A TOUGH JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF HAPPINESS

Photojournalist and artist Bernie Perkins is surrounded by a loving French mother, a truculent father who's also his boss, an unfaithful wife, and a four-year-old son. In this ardent but uneven novel, he proceeds to lose all.

Just as things are at their worst with Bernie and his wife, she accidentally runs over and kills their son, and soon after the funeral, leaves Bernie. Numbed by his double loss, Bernie continues writing and taking photos for the Trib, the local paper owned by his father, and volunteering at the local women's shelter. A decent, thoughtful man, Bernie responds with sensitivity–although not very effectively–to one crisis after another. When his rough-edged dad secretly sabotages Bernie's run for city council, Bernie remains silent in order to avoid upsetting his mother. When a neighbor's daughter asks Bernie for advice with an essay in which she describes sexual abuse by her father, he approaches the subject delicately, fearful of making a mistake. When a damaged transformer sets his neighbor's house on fire, Bernie grabs a hose and races to the rescue, while his own house, unprotected, burns to the ground. As the pressure on him mounts, his comfort comes from surfing, painting, learning to cook from his mother, and pursuing a series of women. Although the story periodically languishes in melodrama–and despite the need for more aggressive editing–Bernie's plight remains compelling. After his mother is shot and killed by a crazed husband on the front steps of the women's shelter, Bernie's suicide attempt seems almost inevitable: how much more can this man take? His recovery is aided by Alan Greensberg, a psychiatrist who works at the women's shelter and who has suffered his own share of tragedies, and by his own determination to fulfill his mother's wishes, which he learns in a dream: to forgive his father and marry Meredith, a woman he's loved for years.

A tale of personal despair and recovery, and a careful look at domestic violence. The grace in Bernie's character lifts this novel well above its flaws.

Pub Date: July 22, 2004

ISBN: 0-595-32007-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 146

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

IT ENDS WITH US

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 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

MAYBE SOMEDAY

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 7, 2014

Did you like this book?

more