Next book

DISTURBANCE OF THE INNER EAR

A rare find: a thinking, feeling novelist with a stinging stylistic flair and a monumental story to tell.

In a startling, memorable debut, a waning cellist prodigy is doomed to relive the trauma of her Holocaust survivor father when she’s abandoned in Italy after the death of her beloved caretaker and teacher.

Isabel Masurovsky, a Jew of Russian descent on her father’s side (he was an acclaimed pianist interned in the “model” concentration camp of Terezin, Czechoslovakia), was raised in Milwaukee though already performing her cello on world stages. It’s now ten years after her parents’ death in a violent car accident, and Isabel, in her mid-20s, finds herself again alone in the world when her elderly maestro and lover, Signor Perso, dies in his sleep in their pension room in Milan. Literally lifted off the sidewalk by a smooth, moneyed surgeon, Giulio, who doubles as a gigolo, Isabel stumbles into a live-in position teaching viola to a clumsy, recalcitrant teenager at the home of a wealthy diplomat named Pettyward—who also possesses a rare 16th-century cello ordered by Charles IX from Andrea Amati. Isabel’s knowledge of the world has been fed to her by the gentle, aphasic Signor Perso, on the one hand, and by her bloody-minded father, Yuri, on the other, who strong-armed her prodigious early career via a desperately ruthless philosophy of survival gleaned from having to play for his captors in the Nazi camp. Gingerly, Isabel finds her way, loathe to fall for the suavely suspect Giulio lest she betray her father’s wary teaching: “Was crossing into evil as simple as deciding to survive at any cost?” Hackett manages a marvelous balance between irony and innocence in Isabel’s voice and along the way works in an enormous amount of research on rare instruments and the history of classical music. Organization is occasionally erratic, but Hackett scores big with her shimmering bon mots and breathtaking elegiac atmosphere.

A rare find: a thinking, feeling novelist with a stinging stylistic flair and a monumental story to tell.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7867-1046-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2002

Categories:

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 436


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 436


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound 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

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Next book

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

Close Quickview