by Frederic Raphael ‧ RELEASE DATE: May 1, 1999
“Have you ever read a novel that’s all dialogue?” “William Gaddis. But hardly any.” “Well, this is. With a handful of descriptive paragraphs scattered about.” —And Raphael’s dialogue is famous. The British TV miniseries The Glittering Prizes, some 19 novels, including After the War (1989). Screenplays? The upcoming Stanley Kubrick movie, Eyes Wide Shut with the Cruises, Julie Christie’s Darling (an Oscar for the script), and that feast of bickering, Two for the Road, with Audrey and Albert.” “Good credits!” “Mmm. Coast to Coast is another road picture with a zinger from left field for an ending. A married couple, bound for divorce, drive an antique Jaguar from New England to Los Angeles to attend their son’s wedding. Of course, they wound each other all the way, largely about the adulteries bringing on their divorce, and the bloodletting gets worse at each of several stops (Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle), particularly at one with Barnaby’s old buddy and Marion’s ex-lover Hal. Once they deliver the Jaguar to their son Benjamin as a wedding present, they’ll split forever. Or will the drive help them work through their problems? The hero is retired sitcom writer Barnaby Pierce, who groaned through several seasons of writing Sergeant Bimbo scripts while his wife Marion stayed home and raised their four kids, growing ever more restive. The subtext to the Jaguar gift is that Benjamin was driving Barnaby’s Chevy on an icy road when he crashed, killing their son Christopher, and now has survivor’s guilt. Did the death do in Barnaby and Marion’s marriage? Or perhaps it was their unbalanced daughter Zara/Zenobia? Well, when the wedding comes, it’s the wedding from hell, with shocks that kill.” “Hmm! Is the talk brilliant?” “Very much so, especially the LA shoptalk. As the anguish deepens, you adjust quickly to knitting all the details together from dialogue. And the jump-cutting between speakers has a Cubist sharpness that should delight.— —All told, one of Raphael’s most successful works.—
Pub Date: May 1, 1999
Page Count: 240
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1999
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by Lisa Jewell ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2018
Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.
Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.
Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.
Pub Date: April 24, 2018
Page Count: 368
Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018
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by Colleen Hoover ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 18, 2014
Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
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
Page Count: 384
Review Posted Online: May 6, 2014
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