The latest entry in Karon’s Mitford series (Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, 2014, etc.) continues with all the beloved...

COME RAIN OR COME SHINE

A simple farm wedding faces many unanticipated challenges.

The long-awaited marriage of Lacey Harper Harper and Dooley Russell Kavanagh is finally coming about. Both Lace, who was adopted by Doc and Mrs. Harper, and Dooley, who was adopted by the Rev. Tim Kavanagh, started their lives in severely dysfunctional homes. Now that Lace, a talented artist, and Dooley, a newly minted veterinarian, have worked so hard to put their futures on a bright path, they plan to wed in a simple ceremony at the farm and vet clinic they’ve purchased near their families. But they discover that their easy wedding involves advanced and complex planning. The grounds need extensive sprucing up, and the barn must be readied for the potluck supper to which they can only hope the guests will contribute an appropriate amount and variety of food. Lace can’t find the elegant , inexpensive dress she pictures in her mind; the groom wonders if his wedding present to the bride is such a good idea; and several of the invited guests may well open wounds from the past. The siblings Dooley has cared for all his life will be there along with the mother who deserted all but one of them. Each of their friends and family members has a role to play in generating and resolving the problems that spring up. On top of everything else, Dooley and Lace are hiding a secret they hope they’ll be able to share before the wedding. Through it all, though, their love never falters.

The latest entry in Karon’s Mitford series (Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good, 2014, etc.) continues with all the beloved characters, down-home charm, and deep faith in God that are the hallmarks so beloved of fans.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-399-16745-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

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

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

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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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

THEN SHE WAS GONE

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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