A visceral, sweeping depiction of life in the shuddering wake of wartime.


Three families, whose lives are inextricably linked by the street they inhabit, grapple with love and morality amid political upheaval.

In English for the first time and impeccably translated by Rix (The Door, 2015), Szabó’s quietly captivating novel excavates the tangled history of Hungary’s capital from the portentous moments before the German occupation to its suffocating postwar regime. In 1934, enveloped by a garden “teeming with roses,” we meet Irén and Blanka Elekes, Bálint Biró, and Henriette Held, the beloved children of three neighboring families who live on the titular Katalin Street. The four of them are inseparable, like cousins, apart from the fact that each of the girls, at one time or another, has loved Bálint, the major’s son. “Bálint was the sort of person who inspired that response from others without in the least intending to,” Irén observes. “You simply had to love him.” In Irén’s case, her unuttered desires are requited when she and Bálint are engaged a decade later. As soon as their celebration begins, though, it’s disrupted by a phone call and eclipsed by the reality of war; Henriette’s Jewish parents have been caught and deported and their home swiftly commandeered by authorities. But it’s the tragic death of 16-year-old Henriette, who's been hidden by the major and the Elekes family, that ultimately tears these families apart. By the time they’re eventually married, Bálint, who adored Henriette like his own sister, and Irén, who both loved and loathed the girl, are strangers, having long ago buried the happiness they once knew. Beset by a deep malaise from the aftershock of war, the Elekes family, forced from their home and dispossessed in every sense, live as ghosts, the past forever looping in their consciousnesses, “locked in the same hopeless quest to recover [Katalin Street].” And Henriette, a spectral presence hovering throughout the novel, acts as an onlooker, bearing witness to the emotional decay brought on by the relentless forces of age and memory.

A visceral, sweeping depiction of life in the shuddering wake of wartime.

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68137-152-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: New York Review Books

Review Posted Online: July 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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

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


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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