Elegantly written and powerfully original: a magnificent story and a remarkable debut.

A SUDDEN COUNTRY

A first-time novelist turns her own family’s past into a vigorous, deeply moving work of historical fiction.

It begins in a snowstorm. A man named James MacLaren rides horseback, cradling his last living child, trying to keep her breathing. By the time she dies of smallpox, he’s mad with grief and burning with fever himself. Meanwhile, the novel’s second protagonist, Lucy Mitchell, has just given birth to a baby girl. It’s 1846. Thousands of people are moving west, leaving the United States for new opportunities and imagined riches in the Oregon Territory. When Lucy’s husband gets “Oregon fever,” he sells their house in Iowa, packs his family in wagons and joins the migration. Few American archetypes are as beloved and clichéd as the pioneer, but Fisher’s settlers are vivid and particular. Brave and naïve, generous and cruel, canny and ignorant: They are real, and Fisher manages to make the familiar story of their westward movement strange. She shows us people who are not just traveling to a new world, but creating it as they go, shedding the “civilization” they have known like the too-heavy luxuries they abandon along the trail. Fisher also shows us worlds that are disappearing as Americans crowd the frontier and “settle” the wild places, worlds that have been James MacLaren’s home. A trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company, MacLaren has spent his whole adult life mapping the uncharted depths of the continent. He meets Lucy after his daughter dies, as he’s searching for his Nez Perce wife and the man she ran off with. When MacLaren signs on as driver and guide for the Mitchell family, his story becomes intertwined with Lucy’s. Their slowly unfolding relationship is doomed but lovely, and as they negotiate this shared grace, they also discover unknown aspects of themselves. Their parting is inevitable, but they part stronger and wiser—flawed, but noble, exemplars of their moment in history.

Elegantly written and powerfully original: a magnificent story and a remarkable debut.

Pub Date: Aug. 16, 2005

ISBN: 1-4000-6322-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2005

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

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

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. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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