Sympathetic characters propel a tense narrative.

THE POSTMISTRESS OF PARIS

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

ISBN: 978-0-06-294-698-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • IndieBound Bestseller

REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

A warm and winning "When Harry Met Sally…" update that hits all the perfect notes.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 165

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2021

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION

A travel writer has one last shot at reconnecting with the best friend she just might be in love with.

Poppy and Alex couldn't be more different. She loves wearing bright colors while he prefers khakis and a T-shirt. She likes just about everything while he’s a bit more discerning. And yet, their opposites-attract friendship works because they love each other…in a totally platonic way. Probably. Even though they have their own separate lives (Poppy lives in New York City and is a travel writer with a popular Instagram account; Alex is a high school teacher in their tiny Ohio hometown), they still manage to get together each summer for one fabulous vacation. They grow closer every year, but Poppy doesn’t let herself linger on her feelings for Alex—she doesn’t want to ruin their friendship or the way she can be fully herself with him. They continue to date other people, even bringing their serious partners on their summer vacations…but then, after a falling-out, they stop speaking. When Poppy finds herself facing a serious bout of ennui, unhappy with her glamorous job and the life she’s been dreaming of forever, she thinks back to the last time she was truly happy: her last vacation with Alex. And so, though they haven’t spoken in two years, she asks him to take another vacation with her. She’s determined to bridge the gap that’s formed between them and become best friends again, but to do that, she’ll have to be honest with Alex—and herself—about her true feelings. In chapters that jump around in time, Henry shows readers the progression (and dissolution) of Poppy and Alex’s friendship. Their slow-burn love story hits on beloved romance tropes (such as there unexpectedly being only one bed on the reconciliation trip Poppy plans) while still feeling entirely fresh. Henry’s biggest strength is in the sparkling, often laugh-out-loud-funny dialogue, particularly the banter-filled conversations between Poppy and Alex. But there’s depth to the story, too—Poppy’s feeling of dissatisfaction with a life that should be making her happy as well as her unresolved feelings toward the difficult parts of her childhood make her a sympathetic and relatable character. The end result is a story that pays homage to classic romantic comedies while having a point of view all its own.

A warm and winning "When Harry Met Sally…" update that hits all the perfect notes.

Pub Date: May 11, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0675-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

more