Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Next book

ON MULLETT LAKE

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Mullett Lake in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula provides the backdrop for this shifting narrative of love, death and a second chance.

Coburn’s romantic novel is shared by a quartet of characters: Paul Crockett is a reliable local handyman/contractor; Jessica is the love of his life; Claudia Cardinelli is a vacation cottager with a wandering husband, Freddie; and supporting this cast is neighbor Agnes Decker, who is a catalyst for helping Paul and Claudia move beyond their low points. Claudia has had a miscarriage and later discovers Freddie is having an affair. Faced with these revelations, she considers divorce, but fate steps in and Freddie is killed in a motorcycle accident (along with his girlfriend). Before his demise, readers observe Freddie in a bar with his girlfriend, and his Harley Davidson parked outside, though these glimpses elicit little empathy from the reader. As Paul tools around Mullett Lake, readers learn the back story of his relationship with Jessica; the two were very much in love and moved away from the community, but Paul has inexplicably returned alone. Paul, 50, and 35-year-old Claudia are brought together by Mrs. Decker and some time after going to the Hack-Ma-Tack for drinks, they fall in love. But is this the happily ever after for which they’re both looking for? And what about Jessica? Coburn effectively depicts this transitional time for Paul and Claudia. The novel is short and the pace is brisk. Characters are believable and the romance is engaging. Much is made of the age difference between Paul and Claudia, with a definite slant toward the 50-year-old male perspective. (Readers are reminded often that Paul is very fit.) While the story focuses on moving beyond loss and the importance of hope, the work would have benefited from more complexity. Strong in establishing the Mullett Lake environment, the author also nicely captures the bittersweet, fleeting quality of love. A pleasant, predictable tale that will satisfy fans of character-driven romance.

Pub Date: March 24, 2011

ISBN: 978-0615462127

Page Count: 118

Publisher: Michael Coburn Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Categories:
Next book

MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

Categories:
Next book

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

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

Categories:
Close Quickview