Jewell, a wry observer of human folly, delivers with this latest tale of loneliness and the lure of beautiful things.

THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN

Both witty and deeply moving, Jewell’s latest tale of a fractured family spans 30 years of Easter Sundays.

The Bird family lives a postcard-worthy life in the Cotswolds. Their garden cottage is filled with bric-a-brac and children’s drawings; father Colin is thoughtful; the two girls, Meg and Beth, and twin boys Rory and Rhys are clever, kind and muddy. And then there's mother Lorelei, the center of their bohemian universe, whose beauty and love of beautiful things hide darker obsessions that turn everything about their life into an unfathomable mess. The novel begins in 2011 as a grown Meg enters her childhood home. Lorelei has died of starvation, and Meg is down from London to sort things out. The house is impenetrable, filled with towers of newspapers, useless baubles and piles of ceaseless hoarding. It didn’t used to be that way—Meg remembers a bright childhood, in particular Easter Sundays in which an extended clan gathered for egg hunts and Lorelei’s brand of childlike magic. And then one Easter when Meg is 20, they find Rhys hanging from the rafters of his room. His suicide sinks everyone: Golden Rory runs off to a Spanish commune (and continues to run, until one day he ends up in a Thai prison); sensible Meg abandons her family for the new one she makes with Bill; Beth begins an illicit affair with Bill; and Lorelei forces Colin out so her new lover, Vicky, can move in. As Meg sorts through the rubbish, we are privy to Lorelei’s last correspondence to Jim, an Internet boyfriend to whom she confesses all her lonely secrets. Though Jewell's novels masquerade as breezy, they are unpredictable and emotionally complex.   

Jewell, a wry observer of human folly, delivers with this latest tale of loneliness and the lure of beautiful things.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-0299-5

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2014

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

MAYBE SOMEDAY

Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson. 

Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty. 

Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.

Pub Date: March 18, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 7, 2014

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