by Meg Waite Clayton ‧ RELEASE DATE: Nov. 30, 2021
Sympathetic characters propel a tense narrative.
Love and peril in Vichy, France.
Mary Jayne Gold, an American heiress who worked to rescue artists and intellectuals from Nazi-occupied France, has inspired Clayton’s spirited reimagining of those turbulent years, centered on the intrepid Nanée Gold—she can fly a plane!—and the handsome photojournalist Edouard Moss, a widower with an impossibly adorable young daughter. While Nanée and Edouard are fictional, Clayton embeds them in a world of real people: Marc Chagall, incredulous that his own government would turn against him; Pablo Picasso, who refused to leave Paris; Leonora Carrington, who comes to a gathering at Nanée’s Paris apartment; Lion Feuchtwanger, Hans Bellmer, and Max Ernst, among many others imprisoned at the Camp des Milles internment camp; and André Breton and his wife, Jacqueline, who hold a salon in the Villa Air-Bel, a safe house secured and paid for by Nanée, where fellow surrealists distract themselves in talk, dancing, and games. Although friends urge Nanée to go home, she has no interest in returning to a vacuous life as a socialite; instead, she insists, she “wanted to do something to help, the same as any decent person in this newly terrible world surely must.” Her chance comes in 1940, with the arrival of Varian Fry, sent by the American Emergency Rescue Committee to facilitate the escape of some 200 painters, composers, and writers in danger of Nazi persecution. Fry, realizing the benefit of Naneé’s willingness and wealth, makes her a courier—a postmistress—delivering messages throughout Paris. The plot thickens when Nanée becomes infatuated with Moss, who has been sent to Camp des Milles. Dressed in a couture suit, wearing diamonds and a dab of Chanel No. 5, Naneé devises her own mission to get him out. As their love affair intensifies, so do their desperate efforts to find Moss’ daughter and, somehow, survive the ominous world of war.Sympathetic characters propel a tense narrative.
Pub Date: Nov. 30, 2021
Page Count: 400
Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2021
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021
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by Kristin Hannah ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 6, 2024
A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.
A young woman’s experience as a nurse in Vietnam casts a deep shadow over her life.
When we learn that the farewell party in the opening scene is for Frances “Frankie” McGrath’s older brother—“a golden boy, a wild child who could make the hardest heart soften”—who is leaving to serve in Vietnam in 1966, we feel pretty certain that poor Finley McGrath is marked for death. Still, it’s a surprise when the fateful doorbell rings less than 20 pages later. His death inspires his sister to enlist as an Army nurse, and this turn of events is just the beginning of a roller coaster of a plot that’s impressive and engrossing if at times a bit formulaic. Hannah renders the experiences of the young women who served in Vietnam in all-encompassing detail. The first half of the book, set in gore-drenched hospital wards, mildewed dorm rooms, and boozy officers’ clubs, is an exciting read, tracking the transformation of virginal, uptight Frankie into a crack surgical nurse and woman of the world. Her tensely platonic romance with a married surgeon ends when his broken, unbreathing body is airlifted out by helicopter; she throws her pent-up passion into a wild affair with a soldier who happens to be her dead brother’s best friend. In the second part of the book, after the war, Frankie seems to experience every possible bad break. A drawback of the story is that none of the secondary characters in her life are fully three-dimensional: Her dismissive, chauvinistic father and tight-lipped, pill-popping mother, her fellow nurses, and her various love interests are more plot devices than people. You’ll wish you could have gone to Vegas and placed a bet on the ending—while it’s against all the odds, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.A dramatic, vividly detailed reconstruction of a little-known aspect of the Vietnam War.
Pub Date: Feb. 6, 2024
Page Count: 480
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: Nov. 4, 2023
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2023
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More About This Book
BOOK TO SCREEN
by Colleen Hoover ‧ RELEASE DATE: Oct. 18, 2022
Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.
Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.
Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022
Page Count: 352
Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022
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