AHE'EY

A bracing mix of emotionally and intellectually honest fantasy.

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In this romantic tale, a champion of women’s empowerment stumbles on a hidden—and seemingly perfect—society.

Morgan Lua, head and founder of the Hope Foundation, has just arrived in New York City. Advocating for girls’ educational success, she’ll be a star attraction at the Girl’s Speak Out conference. The mayor introduces her to Gabriel Warren, head of the philanthropic group Ange’el and her host in New York. While Morgan is entranced by his gorgeous blue-green eyes, she also finds, in his suite at the Pierre Hotel, “no sign of vanity. Everything about him was practical and simple and yet of great quality and taste.” He invites her to a gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, but the evening is interrupted by knife-wielding assailants. Gabriel subdues them, later revealing that he’s with the CIA, assigned to protect her from those aligned with the Men’s Rights Defense group and their speaker and presidential candidate, Walter Zanus. Further attacks lead Gabriel to take his protection of Morgan to the utmost—he brings her home to Ahe’ey, the secret realm from which he and his genetically enhanced brethren hail. In Ahe’ey, Morgan discovers stunning, nature-infused architecture and a functioning matriarchy. Yet the more she learns about Gabriel’s world, the less ideal it becomes. In her invigorating fantasy series opener, Le Fay (Ange’el, 2014) flaunts her progressive heart proudly, as when Morgan says citizens need to get “the best out of every young person regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or aptitude.” Zanus, meanwhile, stands in for the actual 45th president of the U.S. in saying of his “pure daughters” that if “they weren’t” mine, “I’d be dating them.” Le Fay also creates a robust mythology surrounding the four tribes of Ahe’ey: the Ange’el, the Ma’asai, the Yi’ingo, and the Hu’urei. Thirty years ago, civil war resulted in the sequestering of these bloodlines, and men are forbidden to rule. Gabriel realizes, however, that their “demise...started the day we designed an unequal society.” His and Morgan’s love proves transformative, and readers should delight in witnessing its repercussions.

A bracing mix of emotionally and intellectually honest fantasy.

Pub Date: April 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-646-96918-3

Page Count: 696

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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A LITTLE LIFE

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. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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