Much livelier than Smith’s first (Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, 2001). Great title and fabulous cover art will have readers...


Rowdy southern feminist fantasy for women of a certain age.

The Mademoiselles, members of a high-school social club in 1960s Atlanta, have gone their separate ways, but some of them stayed the best of friends, morphing in middle age into the Red Hat Club. They meet for lunch (wearing red hats, of course) and dish the dirt. Here’s the latest: Diane’s husband Harold is probably cheating on her with a floozy. Sister Red Hats Georgia, Teeny, Linda, and SuSu swing into action. With the exception of Linda, happily married to a nice urologist who adores her, they’ve endured hellish divorces themselves, or they’re still married and running scared. The worldwide oversupply of avaricious bimbos is a constant worry to these once-loyal wives and mothers, who are determined to see to it that Harold gets his comeuppance. Diane begins to follow a paper trail, finding and copying documents that prove beyond a doubt he is hiding income and maintaining a hidden love nest—definitely not proper behavior for a distinguished southern banker. Adding taped phone calls and secret computer files to the stash of incriminating evidence can’t hurt. Sisterhood is powerful, and the Red Hats already know how to get themselves out of trouble before they get into it. Brief segues to fond reminiscences of their teenage selves, complete with heartthrobs, embarrassing parents, and physical changes, and then it’s back to the chase: Linda’s urologist husband confides that some of his male patients have come in with embarrassing minor injuries, thanks to a mysterious dominatrix who likes hurting men so much she does it for free. News flash: the unknown woman may be a former Mademoiselle! Will Harold be the next to get spanked?

Much livelier than Smith’s first (Queen Bee of Mimosa Branch, 2001). Great title and fabulous cover art will have readers reaching for it.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2003

ISBN: 0-312-31693-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2003

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.


Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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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

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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