VIVIAN IN RED by Kristina Riggle


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A Broadway producer of the 1930s is confronted by a vision from his past that may represent a problem in his present.

Getting older isn’t what Milo Short bargained for. Instead of being the power behind his company, Milo Short Productions, he ends up being the one managed by his large family, each member of whom has no end of suggestions about how he should be living his life. Well, less so his granddaughter, Eleanor, though that may be because her lack of steady income means she’s a target for the Short family’s helpful suggestions, too. All Milo wants is to play some piano and live independently, which he can do just fine, thank you very much, but his relatives treat him like an invalid just because he’s old. His problem worsens when he suffers a stroke that deprives him of speech. Milo makes a medical recovery, but something seems to be holding him back from talking, though he couldn’t explain what was wrong even if he recovered the ability to speak. Seconds before his stroke, a woman from his youth, Miss Vivian Adair, appeared from nothing right in front of his face. He’s not sure what to make of this vision in red. His reaction makes it clear that he’s done Vivian wrong, but it’s not so clear how. Meanwhile, Eleanor, seeking to protect her now-fragile grandfather from outsiders, agrees to write the biography their family is demanding. Perhaps what she uncovers will set Milo free.

Switching back and forth between modern times and 1930s Broadway, Riggle (Hope Out Loud, 2015, etc.) plays with a number of possible outcomes between the hero and his mysterious vision, though the mystery is never exactly high-stakes.

Pub Date: Sept. 13th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-943-81816-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Polis Books
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2016


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