A detailed volume that shines a light on a tragic period of American history.

BONE NECKLACE

Two enemies become allies in this historical novel, set during the Nez Perce War.

In the summer of 1877, U.S. Army soldiers are in a conflict with the Nez Perce people, whose leaders chose not to heed a governmental order to relocate to an Idaho reservation. This story is told from the perspectives of a drunken Idaho militiaman, a passionate Nez Perce warrior, and a visiting English painter who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Jack Peniel is too intoxicated to save his stepmother from a fire, and he joins up with his abusive sheriff father’s volunteer militia unit. A man named Running Bird set the blaze, after the lawman refused to arrest his father’s White murderer. Nicole Lowsley is visiting Yosemite when the Nez Perce attack, and she becomes Running Bird’s captive. All three main characters find themselves entangled in dangerous times as the dwindling tribe makes a desperate dash for haven in Canada, with the U.S. Army chasing them. Throughout the ordeal, Jack and Running Bird both grow as characters and Nicole is awakened to the struggles of the Nez Perce people. Soon, the media, and then public opinion, swing away from support for the government’s military campaign. Debut author Sullivan, a lawyer, began working on this book two decades ago after visiting the Big Hole Battlefield in Montana, as she was drawn to the injustices suffered by the Nez Perce. These years of research are fully evident in the narrative, which brings the despicable treatment of the Nez Perce people to vivid life; she even includes 50 pages of character bios, photos, and period editorials to flesh out the setting. Sullivan has also created a trio of flawed but memorable characters. Early on, they seem like mere archetypes: Jack is sloth, Running Bird is wrath, and Nicole is pride. However, they all move into new roles as the world changes around them, and it’s bracing to follow their personal journeys.

A detailed volume that shines a light on a tragic period of American history.

Pub Date: June 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-953021-54-0

Page Count: 296

Publisher: Brandylane Publishers, Inc.

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2022

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

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IT ENDS WITH US

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 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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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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IT STARTS WITH US

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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