This overstuffed love story is a fun bit of escapism, but it doesn't dig deep.


When her husband dies unexpectedly, a woman is forced to reconsider the life she had and what she wants.

Liv Goldenhorn and her husband, Eliot, own a successful wedding-planning company in Brooklyn. But during a tumultuous job that leaves the business on the edge of collapse, Liv receives a phone call that Eliot has died while on a business trip—and soon after discovers that he's left his share of their company to his much younger and until-then-secret mistress, Savannah. Faced with financial ruin and unsure how to get back on track, Liv decides to accept Savannah's persistent attempts to revive the company, a decision that results in Liv, Savannah, and a group of vendors they work with rethinking what they want and how to get it, particularly when it comes to love. Clark works hard to build a diverse cast of characters, but with upward of eight points of view and a swirl of subplots, there isn't much room for in-depth character development. In addition to Liv and Savannah and their own relationships, the novel gives equal focus to a waitress and an actor who strike up a relationship at a wedding, two members of a wedding band who pretend to be a couple so one of them can secure their trust fund, and the long-term couple who run a flower business Liv works with. At times, each of these pairs reads as if they could be the focus of their own books. In spite of everything, though, Clark's prose is engaging, her characters are likable, and the plot moves quickly enough that the shortcomings can be overlooked.

This overstuffed love story is a fun bit of escapism, but it doesn't dig deep.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-9821-3319-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Emily Bestler/Atria

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.


The miseries of the Depression and Dust Bowl years shape the destiny of a Texas family.

“Hope is a coin I carry: an American penny, given to me by a man I came to love. There were times in my journey when I felt as if that penny and the hope it represented were the only things that kept me going.” We meet Elsa Wolcott in Dalhart, Texas, in 1921, on the eve of her 25th birthday, and wind up with her in California in 1936 in a saga of almost unrelieved woe. Despised by her shallow parents and sisters for being sickly and unattractive—“too tall, too thin, too pale, too unsure of herself”—Elsa escapes their cruelty when a single night of abandon leads to pregnancy and forced marriage to the son of Italian immigrant farmers. Though she finds some joy working the land, tending the animals, and learning her way around Mama Rose's kitchen, her marriage is never happy, the pleasures of early motherhood are brief, and soon the disastrous droughts of the 1930s drive all the farmers of the area to despair and starvation. Elsa's search for a better life for her children takes them out west to California, where things turn out to be even worse. While she never overcomes her low self-esteem about her looks, Elsa displays an iron core of character and courage as she faces dust storms, floods, hunger riots, homelessness, poverty, the misery of migrant labor, bigotry, union busting, violent goons, and more. The pedantic aims of the novel are hard to ignore as Hannah embodies her history lesson in what feels like a series of sepia-toned postcards depicting melodramatic scenes and clichéd emotions.

For devoted Hannah fans in search of a good cry.

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2501-7860-2

Page Count: 464

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.


An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.

How far would you go to address every regret you ever had? That’s the question at the heart of Haig’s latest novel, which imagines the plane between life and death as a vast library filled with books detailing every existence a person could have. Thrust into this mysterious way station is Nora Seed, a depressed and desperate woman estranged from her family and friends. Nora has just lost her job, and her cat is dead. Believing she has no reason to go on, she writes a farewell note and takes an overdose of antidepressants. But instead of waking up in heaven, hell, or eternal nothingness, she finds herself in a library filled with books that offer her a chance to experience an infinite number of new lives. Guided by Mrs. Elm, her former school librarian, she can pull a book from the shelf and enter a new existence—as a country pub owner with her ex-boyfriend, as a researcher on an Arctic island, as a rock star singing in stadiums full of screaming fans. But how will she know which life will make her happy? This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable.

A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-52-555947-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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