An often melancholy but romantic tale about the importance of compromise and growth in relationships.


When a young woman’s marriage hits a road bump, she reconnects with a long-lost love and wonders whether she followed the wrong path into her adulthood.

Emily Gold has a handsome husband and a successful therapy practice at NYU. What she wants now is a baby. After a couple of years of marriage, her husband, Ezra, a respected pediatric oncologist, is finally ready to start trying. Unfortunately, it takes several months to conceive, and shortly after they do, Emily miscarries. The miscarriage awakens Emily’s memories of a miscarriage she suffered more than a decade earlier when she was in college and deeply in love with a man named Rob. Rob and Emily were part of a band, and they delighted in performing together. After the college miscarriage, Emily distanced herself from not only Rob, but also her own musical ambitions. Now that she’s lost another baby and her husband refuses to grieve with her, Emily starts missing Rob and the person she was when she was with him. It’s particularly difficult for Emily to forget Rob now that he’s finally had success as a musician; she hears his voice whenever she turns on the radio. Emily tracks him down so they can explore whether they gave up on their relationship too soon. Once Emily begins spending time with Rob again, she wonders if Ezra will try to fight for her and whether that’s even what she wants. Told primarily in the third person, the book is interspersed with first-person journal entries from earlier in Emily’s life. Most of the story occurs in New York, and Santopolo paints vivid pictures of city sights and West Village hot spots while, in the college flashbacks, she deftly captures the passion that can pervade early adulthood as well as the nostalgia that follows those intense experiences. Despite a few scenarios that strain credulity, like a therapy patient whose personal circumstances too perfectly mimic what could have happened to Emily, the book is consistently entertaining. More than just a love triangle, the story explores difficult topics ranging from grief and loss to self-doubt and suicide.

An often melancholy but romantic tale about the importance of compromise and growth in relationships.

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-08696-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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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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