An often pleasant, if somewhat lengthy, Oregon-set novel of trees and family.



A widower and a divorcée shake up a wealthy Oregon family in Crew’s literary novel.

In 2009, the members of the Garland family are bigwigs around Corvallis, Oregon, as the wealthy owners of Garland Forests, a major timber supplier. Will Trask is the humble son of a logger who married into the family and now works as a timber consultant and realtor. Since the death of his wife, Shelley, he’s done his best to raise their sons, Gar and Cody, though he feels like he’s lost touch with the teens. Now Gar is off to college, and Will is feeling increasingly adrift. Bridget Garland—who, like Will, married into the extended Garland clan—is a physical therapist known locally as “the Good Witch.” She’s recently decided to leave her cheating husband, John—which may mean severing ties with his powerful family: “They may own the forests, but they don’t own this town,” Bridget tells Will. “Corvallis is my town too, now. And the part of my life I’ve loved is right here.” But when Bridget enlists Will to help her go up against their in-laws, the entire family gets entangled in a mess of secrets and real estate. Crew’s prose flows smoothly across the page, inflected with wonderful details about the forests that form the backdrop of her characters’ lives, as when Will reflects on a comment to a real estate client: “ ‘Trees just get big fast here.’ More complicated than that, but Will didn’t feel like explaining….[P]eople who didn’t know just looked at a big tree and had no idea the size of the true old growth forests of the past.” The plot is slow-paced, and relatively few dramatic events disrupt the overall placidity. That said, Crew constructs her characters with such care that readers will be largely content to follow them through the intricacies of their relationships. At around 400 pages, the novel is perhaps a bit too long, but the author uses the space to grapple with the ins and outs of grief, new love, and old rivalries.

An often pleasant, if somewhat lengthy, Oregon-set novel of trees and family.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: -

Publisher: Manuscript

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2020

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Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.


When a devoted husband and father disappears, his wife and daughter set out to find him.

Hannah Hall is deeply in love with her husband of one year, Owen Michaels. She’s also determined to win over his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has made it very clear that she’s not thrilled with her new stepmother. Despite the drama, the family is mostly a happy one. They live in a lovely houseboat in Sausalito; Hannah is a woodturner whose handmade furniture brings in high-dollar clientele; and Owen works for The Shop, a successful tech firm. Their lives are shattered, however, when Hannah receives a note saying “Protect her” and can’t reach Owen by phone. Then there’s the bag full of cash Bailey finds in her school locker and the shocking news that The Shop’s CEO has been taken into custody. Hannah learns that the FBI has been investigating the firm for about a year regarding some hot new software they took to market before it was fully functional, falsifying their financial statements. Hannah refuses to believe her husband is involved in the fraud, and a U.S. marshal assigned to the case claims Owen isn’t a suspect. Hannah doesn’t know whom to trust, though, and she and Bailey resolve to root out the clues that might lead to Owen. They must also learn to trust one another. Hannah’s narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic.

Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7134-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.


An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.

How far would you go to address every regret you ever had? That’s the question at the heart of Haig’s latest novel, which imagines the plane between life and death as a vast library filled with books detailing every existence a person could have. Thrust into this mysterious way station is Nora Seed, a depressed and desperate woman estranged from her family and friends. Nora has just lost her job, and her cat is dead. Believing she has no reason to go on, she writes a farewell note and takes an overdose of antidepressants. But instead of waking up in heaven, hell, or eternal nothingness, she finds herself in a library filled with books that offer her a chance to experience an infinite number of new lives. Guided by Mrs. Elm, her former school librarian, she can pull a book from the shelf and enter a new existence—as a country pub owner with her ex-boyfriend, as a researcher on an Arctic island, as a rock star singing in stadiums full of screaming fans. But how will she know which life will make her happy? This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable.

A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-52-555947-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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