A fine tribute to a tireless and selfless champion of literary genius.

THE PARIS BOOKSELLER

A fictional portrait of Sylvia Beach and her iconic Paris bookshop, Shakespeare and Company, from its founding in 1919 through 1936.

When, after a stint in the Red Cross, adventurous American Sylvia Beach opens Shakespeare and Company, first on 8 rue Dupuytren and later at its famous address, 12 rue de L’Odéon, it soon becomes a haven for Paris’ cadre of expatriate writers. Selling and renting English language books, the store is an ideal counterpart to La Maison des Amis des Livres, the French bookshop across the street, run by Sylvia’s friend and soon-to-be lover, Adrienne Monnier. Thanks to Sylvia’s fluency in French, and to Adrienne, the French and English literary worlds converge in the ambit of the two shops, known as “Odeonia.” Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, T.S. Eliot (and somewhat less eagerly, Gertrude Stein) are only a few of the notables that frequent Shakespeare and Company. As readers become inured to the heady atmosphere of cafe society and intellectual ferment on the Left Bank, the book’s midsection sags. Apart from a poignant crisis concerning Sylvia's mother, the bookseller's professional involvement with James Joyce poses the main, if not the only, conflict in Maher’s book. As Joyce strives to complete the groundbreaking Ulysses, Sylvia’s store is his refuge. Of all the passing writers, Joyce is the most meticulously portrayed: his egg-shaped head, his ashplant cane, his dog phobia, his failing vision (due to glaucoma). Sylvia helps Joyce sort out his domestic chaos and pays for his treatment by her own eye doctor. When excerpts from Ulysses appear in a New York magazine whose editors are then prosecuted for disseminating smut, other publishers run scared. Into this pusillanimous void steps Sylvia. But after gargantuan struggles to publish Ulysses under her own aegis, will Sylvia reap the rewards of her literary valor, or at least of her loyalty to Joyce? That is the question that propels this plot.

A fine tribute to a tireless and selfless champion of literary genius.

Pub Date: Jan. 11, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593102-18-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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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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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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