Lots of summer sun warms this light, charming beach read.


When Ruth Cooperman retired from the cosmetics industry, she dreamed of settling down in a quirky, sleepy beachside town. Little did she know that lovely Provincetown on Cape Cod harbored so much drama.

It all begins when someone leaves a baby on the doorstep of Ruth’s summer rental house. Alarmed, Ruth calls Elise Douglas, the house’s owner. But Elise does not call the authorities. Instead, Elise, who has been trying to get pregnant for years, is utterly entranced by the baby, whom she names Mira. In short order, Mira upends the lives of nearly everyone in Provincetown. While Elise is besotted, her wife, Fern, is worried about Elise’s future heartbreak. Of course, Elise and Fern are also trying to run their business , Tea by the Sea, so they enlist Ruth, as well as other locals, to help babysit. Ruth’s seclusion erodes as her summer house fills up fast, as Elise and Fern move back in (so there's more space for Mira); Ruth’s adult daughter, Olivia, comes to visit; and Olivia invites her dad, Ruth’s ex-husband, Ben, to stay, too. Meanwhile, Bianca Barros, like the Wicked Witch of the West, keeps popping into the tea shop, angry that Elise and Fern bought her niece’s house. Yet Brenner (Drawing Home, 2019, etc.) keeps the tone light, avoiding dark dives into emotional waters. Instead, she deftly keeps all the plates spinning as Elise and Fern renegotiate their marital goals; Bianca’s brother, Tito, takes a shine to Ruth; his nephew, Marco, catches Olivia’s eye; Marco’s sister, Jaci, avoids the family business of emptying oyster traps by working at the tea shop; and Ruth notices Ben anew. Threading through all of the friendships and baby-juggling lies, of course, is the question of the summer: Who is Mira’s mother?

Lots of summer sun warms this light, charming beach read.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-47685-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.


Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...


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

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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