For those who enjoy delving into characters and love to watch life unfold for others, this thought-provoking tale will...

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF EURIDICE GUSMAO

A charming family tale of the Gusmao sisters—whose lives diverge and eventually come together again.

The Gusmao family lives in Rio de Janeiro in the 1940s. Euridice worships teenage Guida; Guida tolerates Euridice. Volatile Guida battles her parents until the night she sneaks off with her forbidden boyfriend and doesn't return. Devastated, Euridice mourns the loss; her parents’ emotions run the gamut until they write off their eldest. Life goes on, and Euridice marries a sensible choice to please her parents and leaves home to live a lonely life despite her husband and two children. Driven to distraction by boredom, she struggles to fill her days with projects other than cooking and maintaining the home, hiding such ventures from her traditional husband, Antenor, who repeatedly quashes her ambitions when he discovers all that she's hidden from him. Discouraged, a now passively resistant Euridice becomes a mere shadow in the background. Guida unexpectedly returns with her son and a wild tale of her broken relationship, and Euridice’s spirit fills with life once again. Batalha's well-rounded characters show how beliefs and decisions—whether acted on openly, as Guida does, or covertly like Euridice—affect their own lives and the lives of others. Batalha portrays the bleakness that can arise in marriage—not an absence of love as much as an absence of appreciating the other’s needs or, conversely, of sacrificing one's own needs. Be prepared to love invisible Euridice, who has so much more to offer than the confines of life in Rio allowed at the time. And be prepared to want to kick her in the butt and say, "Come on, woman! Don't give in!" She doesn't.

For those who enjoy delving into characters and love to watch life unfold for others, this thought-provoking tale will satisfy. A worthy debut for Batalha, full of wry humor.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78607-172-9

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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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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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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