Andrews delivers a blissfully divine holiday gift.

CHRISTMAS BLISS

Andrews (Ladies’ Night, 2013, etc.) spreads tidings of comfort and bundles of joy in her latest Weezie Foley and BeBe Loudermilk romp, the fourth in her Southern series.

Readers don’t have to be familiar with Andrews’ previous books about the Savannah-based best friends to enjoy this follow-up to Blue Christmas (2006). Jean Eloise Foley, aka Weezie, is finalizing plans for an intimate wedding ceremony on Christmas Eve, a scant week away, while her fiance’s in New York serving as a guest chef in a prestigious restaurant. Unable to wait a week until Daniel returns home for the nuptials, especially when she spies a photo of him in a gossip sheet with the gorgeous owner, Weezie hops a plane to the Big Apple to surprise him, thanks to BeBe’s frequent flier miles. Meanwhile, BeBe’s experiencing a great deal of discomfort of her own. She and her boyfriend, Harry, are expecting a baby in six weeks’ time, and she’s feeling as huge as a whale, taking care of a business, trying to oversee renovations on a new home and hiding a disturbing secret from Harry—all while dogsitting Jethro, Weezie’s dog, who’s not exactly howling with delight to be in BeBe’s care. As Weezie worries from afar about her dad’s increasing forgetfulness, her mother’s insistence on baking fruitcake for all the wedding guests and her friends’ flamboyant decorating ideas, she revels in the magical feeling of exploring NYC during the holiday season. Then she’s hit with a bombshell that may seriously impact her life. Important decisions loom for both couples as Weezie and Daniel’s wedding and BeBe’s due date rapidly approach, but will everyone live happily ever after? Readers can expect a delightful diversion that’s fast paced, character-driven and extremely fun.

Andrews delivers a blissfully divine holiday gift.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-250-01972-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2013

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An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT

A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

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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

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