by Jill Marie Landis ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 1, 2002
Formulaic storytelling, but with appealing characters and a swiftly moving pace.
Southern surgeon meets his match in a backwoods healer, in this second hardcover from historical romancer Landis (Summer Moon, 2001).
Sara Collier has spirit and intelligence aplenty, though she’s a country girl with no education and a member of the no-account Collier clan to boot. When she was only15, before he went off to medical school in South Carolina, Dru Talbot was struck by her natural beauty, and her knowledge of folk medicine and herbal cures charmed him. His family, the wealthy Talbots of Magnolia Creek, were mill owners with genteel pretensions, and they were scandalized when he married Sara on his return, yet only the bride could calm the nervous fits of his sister Louzanna. When the Civil War begins, Dru joins the Confederate Army, witnessing the horrors of that conflict while serving as a surgeon—until he goes missing and is presumed dead. Shattered by grief, Sara tries to obliterate her pain with a brief, careless affair that leaves her with an illegitimate baby. Meanwhile, Louzanna has never lost hope that her beloved brother may still be alive, and she has taken in Sara and little Elizabeth out of the kindness of her heart. Wonder of wonders, Dru comes staggering out of the woods one day, ragged and thin, delighted to be back in Magnolia Creek with wife Sara—but whose baby is that? Sara admits her sin but will not give up her child. Seems like the whole world has gone to hell in a handbasket, Dru thinks, what with carpetbaggers and free Negroes and women getting uppity. Despite his passionate feelings for his errant wife, her baby remains a thorn in his side and a source of shame. Reconciliation seems impossible until a yellow fever epidemic strikes. Sara and Dru work dawn to dusk to save lives—and (surprise) true love triumphs.Formulaic storytelling, but with appealing characters and a swiftly moving pace.
Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002
Page Count: 384
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002
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by Colleen Hoover ‧ RELEASE DATE: Aug. 2, 2016
Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.
At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.
Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016
Page Count: 320
Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016
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by Josie Silver ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 16, 2018
Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an...
True love flares between two people, but they find that circumstances always impede it.
On a winter day in London, Laurie spots Jack from her bus home and he sparks a feeling in her so deep that she spends the next year searching for him. Her roommate and best friend, Sarah, is the perfect wing-woman but ultimately—and unknowingly—ends the search by finding Jack and falling for him herself. Laurie’s hasty decision not to tell Sarah is the second painful missed opportunity (after not getting off the bus), but Sarah’s happiness is so important to Laurie that she dedicates ample energy into retraining her heart not to love Jack. Laurie is misguided, but her effort and loyalty spring from a true heart, and she considers her project mostly successful. Perhaps she would have total success, but the fact of the matter is that Jack feels the same deep connection to Laurie. His reasons for not acting on them are less admirable: He likes Sarah and she’s the total package; why would he give that up just because every time he and Laurie have enough time together (and just enough alcohol) they nearly fall into each other’s arms? Laurie finally begins to move on, creating a mostly satisfying life for herself, whereas Jack’s inability to be genuine tortures him and turns him into an ever bigger jerk. Patriarchy—it hurts men, too! There’s no question where the book is going, but the pacing is just right, the tone warm, and the characters sympathetic, even when making dumb decisions.Anyone who believes in true love or is simply willing to accept it as the premise of a winding tale will find this debut an emotional, satisfying read.
Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018
Page Count: 400
Review Posted Online: July 30, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018
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