Next book

MOTHERS AND LOVERS

While Flook creates memorable moments of fear and guilt, her labored structure and tendency to overexplain undermines the...

A professor finds herself embroiled in her new neighbors’ sordid family crisis in this novel from Flook, who has previously explored the underbelly of families and communities both in fiction (Lux, 2004, etc.) and nonfiction (Invisible Eden, 2003, etc.).           

Aware that her affair with a married provost at Sinclair College, the Providence school where she teaches, hasn't eased her grief over the death of her long-term live-in lover, April is looking for serenity when she moves into a charming if run-down farmhouse in the Rhode Island boondocks. Instead, she finds a pile of sludge growing in the yard next door. The sludge belongs to Holt Townsend, who sold April the farmhouse but kept the barn where he now lives and runs a landscaping business. That steamy heap of rot is an effective metaphor for the plot that unfolds. Holt’s son, Blaze, a troubled teen who excels at escaping from juvenile rehab centers, currently lives with Holt, while Blaze’s mother, Janice, 25 years younger than her ex-husband, lives with an abusive new boyfriend. Soon Blaze pays April a visit in what used to be his home, showing off his GPS ankle bracelet along with a macho blend of flirtation and menace. Although he briefly steals her car, she doesn't turn him in. Soon April finds herself uncomfortably attracted to both Blaze and his raffish father. Flook, whose best writing takes us inside Blaze’s confused mind, drops increasingly obvious hints that something incestuous has gone on between Blaze and Janice. April senses without knowing the details that the boy is all “raw fear under his quiet.” She also realizes that the provost is working against her ambition to become department head, that someone has been stalking her online and that her dead lover had a secret life. After she sleeps with Holt, sexual tensions compound with sexual secrets until they burst open.

While Flook creates memorable moments of fear and guilt, her labored structure and tendency to overexplain undermines the novel’s impact.

Pub Date: Dec. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9858812-5-2

Page Count: 377

Publisher: Roundabout Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2014

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 382


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Next book

IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 382


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

Next book

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

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. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

Close Quickview