A spectacular and addictive family tale that’s equal parts charm and depth.

A HOUSE FULL OF WINDSOR

A TV presenter navigates her relationship with her hoarder mother in this novel.

Sarah Percy is a 30-year-old New Yorker with a tidy career plan and a strong fan base. Still, life isn’t nearly as easy as Sarah makes it sound in her “Sarah Says” lifestyle advice segment on Good Morning New York. Back in suburban Philadelphia, Sarah’s mother, Debbie, struggles with hoarding British royal family tchotchkes and memorabilia dating back to Prince Charles’ wedding to Diana Spencer. It’s a decadeslong issue that’s wreaked havoc on Debbie’s safety—she has to clear paths to get through the house—and, more significantly, on her relationships with her three adult children. When Sarah’s younger brother, Will, lands an associate producer position on the popular hoarder intervention show Stuff, he promises the higher-ups he will convince Debbie to star in an episode. Sarah takes time off to assist with the segment—much to the chagrin of her new boss, who is all too eager to replace her with the latest Bachelor runner-up. Sarah finds herself reluctantly enamored with the handsome, empathetic Stuff showrunner and host, Pierce Thompson. Meanwhile, Debbie takes stock of her house full of possessions, reflecting on how one drink with a charming stranger while studying abroad in 1981 London got her to this point, lonely and clinging to the past in her home. The impressive and enjoyable novel alternates between Debbie’s and Sarah’s points of view, giving sensitive perspectives of a hoarder who can’t stop shopping and the effects it’s had on her loved ones. Contino never reverts to reality TV stereotypes of a very real psychological issue, instead exploring the complex origins of Debbie’s compulsion, including an ill-fated shotgun marriage with a very sad end. But there’s plenty of genuine humor in the story, not to mention an abundance of love, as Sarah and her two siblings, twins Will and Anne, band together to repair their broken family once and for all.

A spectacular and addictive family tale that’s equal parts charm and depth.

Pub Date: July 13, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-948018-99-9

Page Count: 292

Publisher: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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An alternately farcical and poignant look at family bonds.

THE SUMMER PLACE

When a family convenes at their Cape Cod summer home for a wedding, old secrets threaten to ruin everything.

Sarah Danhauser is shocked when her beloved stepdaughter announces her engagement to her boyfriend, Gabe. After all, Ruby’s only 22, and Sarah suspects that their relationship was fast-tracked because of the time they spent together in quarantine during the early days of the pandemic. Sarah’s mother, Veronica, is thrilled, mostly because she longs to have the entire family together for one last celebration before she puts their Cape Cod summer house on the market. But getting to Ruby and Gabe’s wedding might prove more difficult than anyone thought. Sarah can’t figure out why her husband, Eli, has been so distant and distracted ever since Ruby moved home to Park Slope (bringing Gabe with her), and she's afraid he may be having an affair. Veronica is afraid that a long-ago dalliance might come back to bite her. Ruby isn’t sure how to process the conflicting feelings she’s having about her upcoming nuptials. And Sam, Sarah’s twin brother, is a recent widower who’s dealing with some pretty big romantic confusion. As the entire extended family, along with Gabe’s relatives, converges on the summer house, secrets become impossible to keep, and it quickly becomes clear that this might not be the perfect gathering Veronica was envisioning. If they make it to the wedding, will their family survive the aftermath? Weiner creates a story with all the misunderstandings and miscommunications of a screwball comedy or a Shakespeare play (think A Midsummer Night’s Dream). But the surprising, over-the-top actions of the characters are grounded by a realistic and moving look at grief and ambition (particularly for Sarah and Veronica, both of whom give up demanding creative careers early on). At times the flashbacks can slow down the story, but even when the characters are lying, cheating, and hiding from each other, they still seem like a real and loving family.

An alternately farcical and poignant look at family bonds.

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5011-3357-2

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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