Medoff’s fully realized novel beautifully explores the most important relationships we create: as parent, as sibling, as...

I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE

Medoff’s talent for characterization is evident in her latest novel, a richly layered tale about that complicated thing called family.

Eliot Gordon is Everywoman—a working mother of three, she has complicated relationships and just a few minutes to spare at the end of the day. She dotes on her girls, 4-year-old Hailey and her stepdaughters, 7-year-old Gail and teenager Charlotte. She adores Grant (though they’re not married and no one’s sure why). And she is an active member of the Gordon Girls, consisting of youngest sister, Maggie, the comically imperious middle sister, Sylvia, and their mother, a novelist who spent their childhood hunched over a typewriter. It’s a good life except for the occasional intrusion of the Sculptress, Eliot’s code name for Grant’s first wife, Beth, a self-absorbed painter (she specializes in vagina self-portraits) who barely has time for Gail and Charlotte and expects Grant to support her art. And then Finn Montgomery appears. One of those impossibly beautiful men, Finn was Eliot’s great love in college until he took a job in New York and never looked back. Now back in Atlanta (with a polished wife and daughter), Finn bumps into Eliot and all of her memories of heartbreak and devotion come rushing back. They begin a flirtation, secret calls and meetings (we see Eliot helplessly tumbling into almost adultery) and then Finn takes it further, confessing that Eliot is his true love. To Medoff’s credit, the plot takes a sharp turn away from what could have been a conventional storyline; instead, at the beach and on the phone with Finn, Eliot turns for a moment, and when she turns back, both Hailey and Gail are drowning in the stormy Atlantic. Whom she chooses to save, and the consequences of her flirtation devastate everything she has. Heavy with guilt, Eliot tries to rebuild love.

Medoff’s fully realized novel beautifully explores the most important relationships we create: as parent, as sibling, as spouse. 

Pub Date: May 15, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-446-58462-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: 5 Spot/Grand Central Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 23, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2012

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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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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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