An elegant, character-driven family tale set in mid-’90s Paris.

THE ART OF REGRET

A transit strike unexpectedly upends the life of the owner of a failing bicycle shop in this literary novel.

Paris, 1995. Trevor McFarquhar has just learned he will soon lose the lease on the bicycle shop he operates (and lives above) on the Rue des Martyrs. Despite—or perhaps because of—the shop’s flagging business, the 37-year-old American-born Trevor views this is as nothing short of a catastrophe. Brought to Paris at age 8 following the death of his father and sister, Trevor has never felt fully at home in the City of Light, though he has no place anywhere else. His resentment of his mother for moving her surviving children there—“simply, from what I could tell, because she’d studied French and had spent a ‘fun’ year in Paris”—has mostly softened into a general aloofness toward her, his younger brother, his casual romantic relationships, and most other things in his life. He isn’t even sure what to do about the bicycle business, seemingly content to let the universe make the decision for him (which is actually how he came to own it in the first place). Then a few things begin to happen, each of which threatens to shake Trevor out of his Parisian ennui. First, Trevor meets Béa Fairbank, an English painter at the edge of his tiny social circle who claims to have heard all about him. Then, a general transit strike brings the city’s trains to a halt, stranding commuters and creating a sudden need for bikes. Finally, Trevor’s longtime crush on his brother’s wife, Stephanie, blossoms suddenly into a full-blown affair, the discovery of which has the potential to sever for good his ties to his family. As the year unfolds, Trevor stands to learn a bit about nationality, family, love, and bikes, and more than a little about himself. While Trevor is no longer a confident English speaker, Fleming (Someone Else, 2014) enlivens her narration with sharp and measured prose, as here where she describes the protagonist’s romantic flings: “I was honest with them right from the start about the conditions of our arrangement, that is, I was not interested in anything but the stated Casual Relationship that included no exclusivity clause. Furthermore, any attempt to attach strings would be met with scissors.” As the particulars of Trevor’s past unfold, he becomes a much more relatable, tragic figure than he initially appears, and his pseudo-Americanness makes him a particular curiosity for U.S. readers. (One exchange with an American tourist highlights Trevor’s peculiarity: “ ‘So you live here,’ Harry continued piecing his puzzle together. ‘But you’re American.’ I nodded. ‘So you must be bilingual.’ ”) The novel takes its time getting started, its pace is slow, and it could stand to be 50 pages shorter. That said, the author is a talented enough writer to keep readers intrigued even when not much is going on. Trevor is a Francophonic twist on the familiar ’90s slacker archetype, and he makes for an endearingly grumpy guide through a Paris that is by turns mundane and magical.

An elegant, character-driven family tale set in mid-’90s Paris.

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-63152-646-6

Page Count: 312

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 5, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

MAYBE SOMEDAY

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more