Lyrical and leisurely. Nothing new, but as comfortable as old jeans.


Heartfelt sequel to The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch (2002).

Spending a morning in bed with her true love, Ash Farrell, cabinetmaker and country-western singer, is Lucy’s idea of heaven on earth. Seems nothing can go wrong in their sunny little patch of northeast Texas—until Ash’s teenage daughter Denny gets dumped on his doorstep by her hard-hearted mother. On top of this sudden change, Lucy can’t imagine what will happen when he finds out that she’s unexpectedly pregnant—she’d assumed that she was infertile, since her husband, who died in an accident six months earlier, had always blamed her. He must have been wearing his boxers a tad too tight—but they hardly ever had sex anyway. Lucy’s at sixes and sevens, wondering what to do and when—or if—to tell Ash. Then Denny happens to overhear her talking about it to a friend, and the girl assumes that she wants an abortion. Well, no, Lucy’s not sure. Now that Ash and his daughter are discovering that they share a talent for making music, maybe there’s no place for her. She’ll have to run away to her own little house and think it over, leaving the Farrells to get to know each other at last. Like any country musician, Ash has big dreams about going to Nashville someday, with or without Denny. But there’s work to do first: someone has to explore the secrets of the past, this being women’s fiction. And the someone is Denny, who connects with the grandmother she never knew and learns why Evelyn gave Ash away when he was a little boy: she was the victim of vicious abuse from her husband and mentally ill to boot. But the tough old lady teaches Denny a few things about love and fishing, and eases the girl’s troubled heart, who finds that happiness is right in her own backyard.

Lyrical and leisurely. Nothing new, but as comfortable as old jeans.

Pub Date: June 1, 2003

ISBN: 0-06-008163-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2003

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A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

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Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

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Doerr presents us with two intricate stories, both of which take place during World War II; late in the novel, inevitably, they intersect.

In August 1944, Marie-Laure LeBlanc is a blind 16-year-old living in the walled port city of Saint-Malo in Brittany and hoping to escape the effects of Allied bombing. D-Day took place two months earlier, and Cherbourg, Caen and Rennes have already been liberated. She’s taken refuge in this city with her great-uncle Etienne, at first a fairly frightening figure to her. Marie-Laure’s father was a locksmith and craftsman who made scale models of cities that Marie-Laure studied so she could travel around on her own. He also crafted clever and intricate boxes, within which treasures could be hidden. Parallel to the story of Marie-Laure we meet Werner and Jutta Pfennig, a brother and sister, both orphans who have been raised in the Children’s House outside Essen, in Germany. Through flashbacks we learn that Werner had been a curious and bright child who developed an obsession with radio transmitters and receivers, both in their infancies during this period. Eventually, Werner goes to a select technical school and then, at 18, into the Wehrmacht, where his technical aptitudes are recognized and he’s put on a team trying to track down illegal radio transmissions. Etienne and Marie-Laure are responsible for some of these transmissions, but Werner is intrigued since what she’s broadcasting is innocent—she shares her passion for Jules Verne by reading aloud 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. A further subplot involves Marie-Laure’s father’s having hidden a valuable diamond, one being tracked down by Reinhold von Rumpel, a relentless German sergeant-major.

Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.

Pub Date: May 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4767-4658-6

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: March 6, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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