A well-constructed, if rather straightforward, modern adaptation of the Book of Job.

THE FAITHFUL ONE

A NOVEL

Chynoweth (The Runaway Prophet, 2016, etc.) retells the biblical story of Job in this contemporary novel.

Seth Jacobs has everything a man could want: a 40-room mansion on 200 acres, a national chain of celebrated waterfront restaurants, wealth, influence, a beautiful wife, and accomplished and loving children. During a delay on the Boston subway, Seth considers how lucky he is to lead the life he does. Unfortunately, that life comes crashing down the moment Seth gets back above ground. He walks into his Boston restaurant to discover that a severe case of food poisoning has broken out among his customers: “He looked into the chandeliered main dining room and saw a hundred or so well-dressed men and women in different states of sickness, their faces contorted in varying degrees of pain.” One of the afflicted is a U.S. senator, who ends up dying as a result. Later that same night, his sons are involved in a car accident that leaves one in a coma and the other charged with driving while intoxicated. One by one, the pillars of support and fortune in Seth’s life begin to topple: he loses his family, his business, and even his health. Like the protagonist in the Book of Job, Seth sees his life utterly destroyed. The only question that remains is whether his faith has been demolished as well. Chynoweth constructs—and then deconstructs —Seth’s life with an eye for detail and an inventive sense of how one tragedy can beget the next. While Seth’s existence is depicted as almost cartoonishly lavish at the beginning (and the protagonist portrayed as cloyingly virtuous), once his trials begin the reader cannot help but feel sympathy for him. The book is a fairly faithful expansion of the familiar story of Job, and so things unfold in a more or less predictable fashion. Those looking for twists and turns may become a bit bored with the archetypical plot, but for readers content with an exploration of what a contemporary Job might look like, Chynoweth’s tale should more than satisfy.

A well-constructed, if rather straightforward, modern adaptation of the Book of Job.

Pub Date: Feb. 14, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68350-291-3

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 15, 2017

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Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable...

THE UNHONEYMOONERS

An unlucky woman finally gets lucky in love on an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.

From getting her hand stuck in a claw machine at age 6 to losing her job, Olive Torres has never felt that luck was on her side. But her fortune changes when she scores a free vacation after her identical twin sister and new brother-in-law get food poisoning at their wedding buffet and are too sick to go on their honeymoon. The only catch is that she’ll have to share the honeymoon suite with her least favorite person—Ethan Thomas, the brother of the groom. To make matters worse, Olive’s new boss and Ethan’s ex-girlfriend show up in Hawaii, forcing them both to pretend to be newlyweds so they don’t blow their cover, as their all-inclusive vacation package is nontransferable and in her sister’s name. Plus, Ethan really wants to save face in front of his ex. The story is told almost exclusively from Olive’s point of view, filtering all communication through her cynical lens until Ethan can win her over (and finally have his say in the epilogue). To get to the happily-ever-after, Ethan doesn’t have to prove to Olive that he can be a better man, only that he was never the jerk she thought he was—for instance, when she thought he was judging her for eating cheese curds, maybe he was actually thinking of asking her out. Blending witty banter with healthy adult communication, the fake newlyweds have real chemistry as they talk it out over snorkeling trips, couples massages, and a few too many tropical drinks to get to the truth—that they’re crazy about each other.

Heartfelt and funny, this enemies-to-lovers romance shows that the best things in life are all-inclusive and nontransferable as well as free.

Pub Date: May 14, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2803-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.

Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.

With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 23, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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