A captivating novel about five characters’ fateful decisions that should leave readers feeling inspired to make positive...

Beyond the Last Horizon

The lives of five friends intersect on their respective journeys toward happiness and success.

In this part motivational, part self-improvement debut novel, five friends obsessed with wealth and success try to turn their lives around for the better. Carrie Kendall is the granddaughter of a prosperous businessman who reassures her, “Whatever you can imagine can come true.…You have the power inside you.” Upon his death, he entrusts her with the family’s corporation, Kendall Innovations Incorporated, and she’ll do anything to ensure that she will someday become its president. Gina Stevens is her only friend, a model who has been able to skate by just on her looks. After a near-death experience, Gina remembers a card she received from a stranger after running away from home that read, “I gave my life to become the person I am right now. Was it worth it?,” resulting in a resolution to “make some changes in her life.” David Hendricks, a corporate businessman, gets caught up in a life of drugs and partying. He cheats on his wife and ignores his children. His drug dealer, Hank Johns, grew up on the streets of Las Vegas, hustling and hoping for a better situation. After a traumatic encounter with David, Hank dedicates his life to his young son, but David faces more trouble getting his act together—until he meets Sara Collins. After enduring three marriages and getting fired from her dream job, Sara follows her mother’s advice that “thoughts are powerfully creative” by starting her own event planning company called Dare to Dream. Though filled with complex characters, this novel’s plot is often summarized, giving the story a rushed quality, and the major events that become catalysts for changes in the characters’ lives rely too much on melodrama. But to De Groat’s credit, the protagonists’ odysseys toward finding stable family relationships and healthy romances are inspirational, and her message is ultimately positive. Through Sara, she reminds readers that “Love equals happiness; happiness comes from sharing with people I love.”

A captivating novel about five characters’ fateful decisions that should leave readers feeling inspired to make positive changes in their own lives.

Pub Date: Dec. 9, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-941478-19-6

Page Count: 324

Publisher: Windy City Publisher

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Did you like this book?

LAST ORDERS

Britisher Swift's sixth novel (Ever After, 1992 etc.) and fourth to appear here is a slow-to-start but then captivating tale of English working-class families in the four decades following WW II. When Jack Dodds dies suddenly of cancer after years of running a butcher shop in London, he leaves a strange request—namely, that his ashes be scattered off Margate pier into the sea. And who could better be suited to fulfill this wish than his three oldest drinking buddies—insurance man Ray, vegetable seller Lenny, and undertaker Vic, all of whom, like Jack himself, fought also as soldiers or sailors in the long-ago world war. Swift's narrative start, with its potential for the melodramatic, is developed instead with an economy, heart, and eye that release (through the characters' own voices, one after another) the story's humanity and depth instead of its schmaltz. The jokes may be weak and self- conscious when the three old friends meet at their local pub in the company of the urn holding Jack's ashes; but once the group gets on the road, in an expensive car driven by Jack's adoptive son, Vince, the story starts gradually to move forward, cohere, and deepen. The reader learns in time why it is that no wife comes along, why three marriages out of three broke apart, and why Vince always hated his stepfather Jack and still does—or so he thinks. There will be stories of innocent youth, suffering wives, early loves, lost daughters, secret affairs, and old antagonisms—including a fistfight over the dead on an English hilltop, and a strewing of Jack's ashes into roiling seawaves that will draw up feelings perhaps unexpectedly strong. Without affectation, Swift listens closely to the lives that are his subject and creates a songbook of voices part lyric, part epic, part working-class social realism—with, in all, the ring to it of the honest, human, and true.

Pub Date: April 5, 1996

ISBN: 0-679-41224-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1996

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more