Ultimately satisfying, a quiet novel with lingering warmth.

THE EXACT NATURE OF OUR WRONGS

A good-humored meditation on regret and forgiveness, Peery’s latest (What the Thunder Said, 2007, etc.) follows the aging Campbell family, a clan as tightknit as it is troubled.

Hattie and Abel have spent the entirety of their marriage in Amicus, Kansas, a “haphazard” town that has treated them well despite the seemingly endless struggles of their six adult children: public intoxication, drug offenses, DUIs, foreclosures, divorces. But while “the trouble she and Abel endured with all but one of their six offspring was almost biblical,” it is clear to Hattie that the “felling blow would be dealt by Billy, the baby, now in his middle 40s and wearing every misspent year.” And so it comes to pass. At Abel’s 89th birthday party, it is Billy—charming, drug-addicted, his mother’s favorite—who falls asleep at the table in a plate of devil’s food cake, causing the family to once again confront the question long haunting the family: how do you solve a problem like the youngest Campbell child? What follows is a novel of family dynamics, driven less by plot than by the passage of one difficult year. Billy’s current crisis—the culmination of years of crises—becomes a unifying force, pulling the family closer together even as it exposes the rifts between them, the long-simmering resentments and the personal failures. And at the center of it all, with her children swirling around her, is Hattie, torn, as always, between her love for her husband and her devotion to her favorite child. A slow burn of a book, the novel takes time to build up steam, but the result is a tender—if not altogether surprising—family portrait with generous heart.

Ultimately satisfying, a quiet novel with lingering warmth.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-12508-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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

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MAYBE SOMEDAY

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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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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