BED AND BREAKFAST

Battle (Storyville, 1993, etc.) gives ``home for the holidays'' an appealingly accomplished update as a very contemporary family gathers reluctantly for Christmas at their mother's southern B&B. Josie Tatternall had been a loyal military wife, taking care of the kids on her own, bravely moving a score of times, and never forgetting to wear white gloves when calling on the commander's wife. But the loyalty came at a price: Husband ``Bear'' was unfaithful, spent money on other women, and ruined his career by having an affair with the wife of a top officer. Once out of the service, the hard-drinking Bear has no choice but to go along with Josie's decision to move back to her hometown of Beaufort, South Carolina, and open a B&B. He dies soon after, and the couple's three daughters grow up and go their separate ways. Now in her 70s, Josie decides to get her children together again for Christmas. The three have quarrelled with one another, and, with one exception, their mother. Cam, her father's favorite, is an editor in New York; Lila has married a prosperous local man and plays the good-daughter role to the hilt; and Evie writes a Savannah newspaper column where she rehashes complaints about her family and her childhood. The sisters arrive, psychic baggage in hand, and immediately things fall apart. Cam quarrels with both Josie and Lila and leaves; Lila, jealous of Cam and bored with her husband, has an uncharacteristic fling; and Evie goes off with Lila's rich father-in-law, leaving Josie to pick up the pieces. In the year that follows, Josie, to her surprise, and despite a few tough phone calls, finds love and understanding with the girls. All those wistful and unrealistic hopes for family closeness at Christmas are detailed acutely in a literate, witty, and affectionate tale that's perfect to curl up with at home, or, better yet, in a B&B. (Author tour)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-670-86074-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1996

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There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

TELL ME LIES

Passion, friendship, heartbreak, and forgiveness ring true in Lovering's debut, the tale of a young woman's obsession with a man who's "good at being charming."

Long Island native Lucy Albright, starts her freshman year at Baird College in Southern California, intending to study English and journalism and become a travel writer. Stephen DeMarco, an upperclassman, is a political science major who plans to become a lawyer. Soon after they meet, Lucy tells Stephen an intensely personal story about the Unforgivable Thing, a betrayal that turned Lucy against her mother. Stephen pretends to listen to Lucy's painful disclosure, but all his thoughts are about her exposed black bra strap and her nipples pressing against her thin cotton T-shirt. It doesn't take Lucy long to realize Stephen's a "manipulative jerk" and she is "beyond pathetic" in her desire for him, but their lives are now intertwined. Their story takes seven years to unfold, but it's a fast-paced ride through hookups, breakups, and infidelities fueled by alcohol and cocaine and with oodles of sizzling sexual tension. "Lucy was an itch, a song stuck in your head or a movie you need to rewatch or a food you suddenly crave," Stephen says in one of his point-of-view chapters, which alternate with Lucy's. The ending is perfect, as Lucy figures out the dark secret Stephen has kept hidden and learns the difference between lustful addiction and mature love.

There are unforgettable beauties in this very sexy story.

Pub Date: June 12, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-6964-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

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A LITTLE LIFE

Four men who meet as college roommates move to New York and spend the next three decades gaining renown in their professions—as an architect, painter, actor and lawyer—and struggling with demons in their intertwined personal lives.

Yanagihara (The People in the Trees, 2013) takes the still-bold leap of writing about characters who don’t share her background; in addition to being male, JB is African-American, Malcolm has a black father and white mother, Willem is white, and “Jude’s race was undetermined”—deserted at birth, he was raised in a monastery and had an unspeakably traumatic childhood that’s revealed slowly over the course of the book. Two of them are gay, one straight and one bisexual. There isn’t a single significant female character, and for a long novel, there isn’t much plot. There aren’t even many markers of what’s happening in the outside world; Jude moves to a loft in SoHo as a young man, but we don’t see the neighborhood change from gritty artists’ enclave to glitzy tourist destination. What we get instead is an intensely interior look at the friends’ psyches and relationships, and it’s utterly enthralling. The four men think about work and creativity and success and failure; they cook for each other, compete with each other and jostle for each other’s affection. JB bases his entire artistic career on painting portraits of his friends, while Malcolm takes care of them by designing their apartments and houses. When Jude, as an adult, is adopted by his favorite Harvard law professor, his friends join him for Thanksgiving in Cambridge every year. And when Willem becomes a movie star, they all bask in his glow. Eventually, the tone darkens and the story narrows to focus on Jude as the pain of his past cuts deep into his carefully constructed life.  

The phrase “tour de force” could have been invented for this audacious novel.

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-53925-8

Page Count: 720

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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