A view of contemporary queer life presented by a spectacularly unreliable narrator.


In her first novel for adults, Davis explores what happens when people are isolated physically while remaining very much online.

Over the course of 10 days—as 2019 turns into 2020—three New York couples convene for an ostensibly bucolic holiday getaway. Cable-news host Jules Todd and her partner, therapist/podcaster Miranda Saraf, are the “queer elders” with enough money and enough of a sense of domesticity to own a second home in the Hudson Valley. Lou runs a home-goods shop in Bushwick that has been featured in Vogue. Their new girlfriend, Darcy, retails coveted fashions on the Lower East Side. Perhaps more importantly, she’s leggy and gorgeous and has a blue checkmark next to her name on Insta. Jesse is a set decorator by trade and a “Renaissance butch” by inclination. He’s there with Sasha, a graduate student working on a cultural history of femininity as defined by small spaces and miniaturized objects. Most of the story is narrated from Sasha’s point of view, and if the descriptions of the main characters seem hyperspecific, it’s because Sasha is acutely aware of both status and LGBTQ+ typology. How readers react to this novel will largely depend on how they react to Sasha. Both she and her creator clearly understand that she’s a whole situation—radically insecure and spectacularly self-involved, emotionally demanding but never not playing a role, impulsive while never losing sight of her immediate goal. During the time covered by this narrative, her immediate goal is to not let Darcy replace her as the adorable bimbo in this particular ménage. The battle for high-femme dominance comes to a head when Jesse and Darcy collaborate on a piece of livestreamed performance art that Sasha perceives not just as infidelity, but also as a parody of her sweetly pink aesthetic.

A view of contemporary queer life presented by a spectacularly unreliable narrator.

Pub Date: May 16, 2023

ISBN: 9781250843135

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: today

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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

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The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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The years pass by at a fast and steamy clip in Blume’s latest adult novel (Wifey, not reviewed; Smart Women, 1984) as two friends find loyalties and affections tested as they grow into young women. In sixth grade, when Victoria Weaver is asked by new girl Caitlin Somers to spend the summer with her on Martha’s Vineyard, her life changes forever. Victoria, or more commonly Vix, lives in a small house; her brother has muscular dystrophy; her mother is unhappy, and money is scarce. Caitlin, on the other hand, lives part of the year with her wealthy mother Phoebe, who’s just moved to Albuquerque, and summers with her father Lamb, equally affluent, on the Vineyard. The story of how this casual invitation turns the two girls into what they call "Summer sisters" is prefaced with a prologue in which Vix is asked by Caitlin to be her matron of honor. The years in between are related in brief segments by numerous characters, but mostly by Vix. Caitlin, determined never to be ordinary, is always testing the limits, and in adolescence falls hard for Von, an older construction worker, while Vix falls for his friend Bru. Blume knows the way kids and teens speak, but her two female leads are less credible as they reach adulthood. After high school, Caitlin travels the world and can’t understand why Vix, by now at Harvard on a scholarship and determined to have a better life than her mother has had, won’t drop out and join her. Though the wedding briefly revives Vix’s old feelings for Bru, whom Caitlin is marrying, Vix is soon in love with Gus, another old summer friend, and a more compatible match. But Caitlin, whose own demons have been hinted at, will not be so lucky. The dark and light sides of friendship breathlessly explored in a novel best saved for summer beachside reading.

Pub Date: May 8, 1998

ISBN: 0-385-32405-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1998

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