A diverting, lightweight romance.



Two disparate men vie for the affections of a beautiful, hardworking woman in Jarrett’s debut.

Most of her life, Jesse Tanner has loved Chris Kennedy, but he married someone else. Years later, Jesse takes over a broken-down marina in Montauk, Long Island, working 60-70 hours a week to make it shipshape for the grand reopening. Now divorced, Chris is devastated by the split and determined to never “go that route again.” A captain in the Marine Patrol, he assists the Coast Guard with rescues, and with all that fresh sea air and sun, he’s never looked better. One night, fueled by alcohol, the pair gives in to lust, half-naked among the lobster pots on a deserted dock, and Jesse declares her love. The morning after finds Jesse confessing that she drank too much and isn’t interested in Chris—lies, of course—and then a handsome Wall Street attorney arrives at the marina to reserve a Jet Ski. Polished and moneyed, Jeffrey Wilder has recently bought and renovated the legendary DiPinto place (soon to be profiled in Architectural Digest), and he’s in the market for a local honey. Jeff extravagantly woos Jesse and, on the town, the two often encounter Chris, who wonders if he might be in love with Jesse after all. It’s intelligence, wealth and the Gucci loafers of a Manhattan lawyer versus muscle, guts and the docksiders of a Montauk fisherman. Jesse’s mother, who can’t abide Chris, is rooting for Jeff while urging her daughter, to the point of manipulation, to return to her former swank job on Madison Ave. The book hits the ground running, with Jesse and Chris in the throes of passion, and then ratchets up the sexual tension with both becoming unwilling or unable to voice their feelings, and features about as much exploration of character as might be found in a typical rom-com. One nice touch is Jesse’s longtime English gal-pal, Susannah, who’s bright and funny, with her own set of man troubles—and, best of all, actually sounds like a Brit. The story is well paced, with a little adventure and real-life Montauk history thrown in, and an ending that neither surprises nor disappoints.

A diverting, lightweight romance.

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2010

ISBN: 978-0557538041

Page Count: 162

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

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Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.

Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She’s just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback library—an initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library’s leader, Margery. Margery doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn’t believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn’t care for Alice’s job or Margery’s lifestyle, and he’ll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.

A love letter to the power of books and friendship.

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-56248-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

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A strict report, worthy of sympathy.


A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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