Sublime, if a smidge too magical.

DISTANT MUSIC

Love transcends the eons in a story that travels the globe and tackles the repetitive nature of history.

The Jewish Emmanuel, early in the fifteenth century, was 12 when he ran away to sea. Little did he know he would wind up in Madeira and meet and fall for Esperança, a poor Catholic girl who would give him cherries for his stories. Esperança was a prodigious reader, though no one believed she could actually read at all. Many years later, she is reminded of Emmanuel again when she meets, in old age, a man who can read the Hebrew letters Emmanuel taught her so long ago. She is left, lonely, by the sea that took everyone she cared about: “The sea lay spread below her like a great blue bird drying its wings in the sun, a bird that was also a god, claiming tribute.” The story is repeated in Faro, 60 years later, in 1489, with lovers who go by the same names—“the two had no need for the ritualized, tentative exercises that can transform strangers . . . . Each knew the other’s essence.” And a London woman’s research centuries later, on the Internet, the finding of tidbits linking the historical narratives, reveals the manner in which history resembles a fugue. It’s that sense of echo that British author Langley (Persistent Rumors, 1994, etc.) is after, with similar stories being repeated as the same lovers prove that there are only so many stories to tell, and that history is impotent in repairing the rifts between traditions. When the lovers are reborn again in 1855 in Lisbon—at a bookstore, in a time of murders—the plot flirts with the supernatural when the more ambitious turn would have been to rely simply on the nice portraits of historical Europe we’ve got through the exhaustive research here. When we finally catch up with the woman searching the Internet, the tactic is a bit strained even as Langley’s message shines through.

Sublime, if a smidge too magical.

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 1-57131-040-1

Page Count: 332

Publisher: Milkweed

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2003

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more