A captivating, action-packed thriller that’s historically astute.



In this World War II novel, an American captain of a cargo ship gets paid to smuggle a Jewish family to safety and ends up doggedly pursued by Nazis.

Jake Rogers is the captain of an aging tramp steamer, a cargo ship he uses to transport often questionable merchandise for equally suspect clients. He candidly declares his amorality: “I get paid for what I do. Duty and honor have nothing to do with it.” While in Amsterdam, he’s given his most peculiar shipment yet, a Jewish family of six: Uncle Levy, a rabbi; his three young children; and two sisters, Miriam and Truus, his nieces. Rogers is paid by Miriam’s father, Mr. Maduro, to convey the family to Gibraltar, a dangerous mission given that the “heartless sea” is swarmed by “trigger-happy U-boat captains,” a perilous situation thrillingly portrayed by Miller. The task is further complicated when Rogers’ boat, the Peggy C, is boarded by three German soldiers in search of contraband—he has no choice but to overtake them and keep them prisoner. In addition, the Peggy Cis tirelessly pursued by an ambitious U-boat commander, Oberleutnant zur See Viktor Brauer, a zealous Nazi angling to climb the ranks. Much of the plot is cinematically formulaic—Rogers is a troubled loner with a dark past who gradually comes to experience a moral transformation, partly because of his growing affection for Miriam. She requites his love, blandly communicating her feelings: “You are a very strange, very wonderful man, Captain Jake Rogers. I have never met anyone like you. You are not afraid.” But the action—and there is no shortage of it—is electrifying. Further, the author’s knowledge of the relevant historical material—in particular, the naval aspects—is extraordinary. While Miller’s novel has its shortcomings, it is still an intelligent and exciting read.

A captivating, action-packed thriller that’s historically astute.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1610885706

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Bancroft Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2022

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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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