An engagingly written story of a woman’s transformation that’s begging for a sequel.

AFTER KILIMANJARO

A physician from Philadelphia experiences a new life in Africa in Woodson’s (Adios Amarillo, 2018, etc.) novel.

Young doctor Sarah Whitaker is as naïve about love as she is idealistic about medicine. She’s engaged to a physician named David, who’s the only boyfriend she’s ever had. In their nearly six years together, he’s often been the decision-maker in the relationship. They prepare to go to Africa so that David can work on a malaria vaccine project, but then the funding evaporates. “We’ll just have to wait to go to Africa…someday when we’re rich doctors,” he says. That triggers hidden mettle in Sarah, who decides to go overseas now—with or without him. She’s already accepted a scholarship to research maternal mortality in childbirth, a scourge in sub-Saharan Africa, and she feels duty-bound to keep her word. When she gets there, she begins to wonder whether her shifting feelings about David provided the real motivation for her to go. The vivid portrayals of the African landscape read like a travelogue, and the operating scenes are graphically realistic (Woodson is a throat surgeon). As one point, a disfigured patient is described as “a Picasso portrait—as if some tectonic rift had shifted the halves of her face.” Sarah delivers babies under conditions that would rattle a very experienced obstetrician, which she is not; she also encounters a black mamba, which is described as the deadliest snake in Africa, and she even contracts red-eye fever. She also connects with Pieter Meijer, a Dutch anesthesiologist, who causes her to question her devotion to David. Not until the final pages does the word “after” in the book’s title make sense: It’s less about Sarah’s time in Africa than about who she’s become after she leaves.

An engagingly written story of a woman’s transformation that’s begging for a sequel.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63152-660-2

Page Count: 340

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: June 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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