A winner for romance and chick-lit fans as well as Anglophiles and geeks.

READ REVIEW

LONDON, CAN YOU WAIT?

An aspiring playwright copes with her boyfriend’s newfound fame in this sequel.

Twenty-four-year-old Alex Sinclair is the envy of many an English teen. Her boyfriend of nearly two years is 25-year-old heartthrob Mark Keegan, star of the fictional BBC drama Lairds and Liars. Unfortunately, dating a celebrity is not all it’s cracked up to be. As Mark runs himself ragged filming around the globe, their brief reunions are often measured in hours rather than days, and Alex misses the time they were both struggling artists working at the National Theatre. After finding a ring in Mark’s backpack, Alex looks forward to marriage as a remedy to the growing distance between them, but curiously, he doesn’t pop the question. Besides his reluctance to commit, Alex has to deal with trash-talking fans, unflattering tabloid stories, and Mark’s obnoxious agent, Wink. Everything finally boils over after a fateful New Year’s Eve party; Mark’s latest co-star, Fallon Delaney, divulges some incriminating secrets. Alex retreats to her father’s house in Manchester to reconnect with herself and later returns to London with a new lease on life. Here, Middleton (London Belongs to Me, 2016) has mastered chick lit. While the plot is driven by Alex’s love life, her career and personal growth (particularly her mental health) feature just as prominently. Alex’s friends—her fiery “bezzie mate,” Lucy; the ever exuberant Freddie; and his stylish fiance, Simon—are fully fleshed out, with arcs of their own. The settings are vibrant and detailed, giving an accurate snapshot of life in cities like London, Dublin, and New York, complete with nods to the theater scene and fandom culture. The narration is well-crafted, full of seemingly innocuous tidbits that later become significant, raunchy banter between friends, and the kind of sweet nothings that hopeless romantics die for. In the end, it’s ultimately quite rewarding to see Alex come into her own, with or without Mark by her side.

A winner for romance and chick-lit fans as well as Anglophiles and geeks.

Pub Date: Oct. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9952117-5-9

Page Count: 454

Publisher: Kirkwall Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE GLASS HOTEL

A financier's Ponzi scheme unravels to disastrous effect, revealing the unexpected connections among a cast of disparate characters.

How did Vincent Smith fall overboard from a container ship near the coast of Mauritania, fathoms away from her former life as Jonathan Alkaitis' pretend trophy wife? In this long-anticipated follow-up to Station Eleven (2014), Mandel uses Vincent's disappearance to pick through the wreckage of Alkaitis' fraudulent investment scheme, which ripples through hundreds of lives. There's Paul, Vincent's half brother, a composer and addict in recovery; Olivia, an octogenarian painter who invested her retirement savings in Alkaitis' funds; Leon, a former consultant for a shipping company; and a chorus of office workers who enabled Alkaitis and are terrified of facing the consequences. Slowly, Mandel reveals how her characters struggle to align their stations in life with their visions for what they could be. For Vincent, the promise of transformation comes when she's offered a stint with Alkaitis in "the kingdom of money." Here, the rules of reality are different and time expands, allowing her to pursue video art others find pointless. For Alkaitis, reality itself is too much to bear. In his jail cell, he is confronted by the ghosts of his victims and escapes into "the counterlife," a soothing alternate reality in which he avoided punishment. It's in these dreamy sections that Mandel's ideas about guilt and responsibility, wealth and comfort, the real and the imagined, begin to cohere. At its heart, this is a ghost story in which every boundary is blurred, from the moral to the physical. How far will Alkaitis go to deny responsibility for his actions? And how quickly will his wealth corrupt the ambitions of those in proximity to it? In luminous prose, Mandel shows how easy it is to become caught in a web of unintended consequences and how disastrous it can be when such fragile bonds shatter under pressure.

A strange, subtle, and haunting novel.

Pub Date: March 24, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-52114-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Did you like this book?

more