An unforgettable and masterful work.

ALL THE LOVERS IN THE NIGHT

The acclaimed author of Breasts and Eggs (2020) and Heaven (2021) surprises again in this thoughtful book about women, loneliness, and relationships.

After seeing how miserable she looks in a reflection in a shop window, Fuyuko Irie, a freelance copy editor in her mid-30s, decides to enrich her solitary life. She begins by taking up drinking, which loosens her up and makes social interactions easier. Then she decides she should take a class at the local culture center, but after two attempts, she still doesn’t manage to register. Both times she goes to sign up for a class, she meets a man named Mitsutsuka in the lobby as a result of a mishap that brings them together. Mitsutsuka and Fuyuko begin meeting regularly at a cafe, where they talk about all sorts of things but mainly about “the mysteries of light.” While their relationship is important to Fuyuko’s development, the women in her life are even more important. Through Fuyuko and the women around her, Kawakami has created a rich and notable examination of the varied ways women choose to live their lives and the gains and losses that come with the choices they've made. Hijiri is the same age as Fuyuko but her total opposite. She’s sex positive, prizes her independence, and speaks her mind. Kyoko is the founder of her own business, more traditional, and critical of Hijiri’s lifestyle. Noriko is in a sexless marriage and loves being a mother, but both she and her husband are having affairs. Fuyuko’s indecisiveness, of course, results in discontentment. She says of herself, “I had faked it the whole way. In all those years of doing whatever I was told to do, I had convinced myself that I was doing something consequential, in order to make excuses for myself, as I was doing right now, and perpetually dismissed the fact that I’d done nothing with my life, glossing over it all.” Kawakami writes with the tender and incisive sensibilities of a poet. She never prescribes the right way to live, but Fuyuko becomes a happier person because of her relationships with others.

An unforgettable and masterful work.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-60945-699-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Europa Editions

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

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Hits the marks for spooky thrills and mysterious chills.

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BOOK OF NIGHT

A former thief who specialized in stealing magical documents is forced back into her old habits in Black's adult debut.

Charlie Hall used to work as a thief, stealing for and from magicians—or rather, “gloamists.” In this world, gloamists are people with magical shadows that are alive, gaining strength from the gloamists' own blood. A gloamist can learn to manipulate the magic of their shadow, doing everything from changing how it looks to using it to steal, possess a person, or even murder. Gloamists hire nonmagical people like Charlie to steal precious and rare magical documents written by their kind throughout history and detailing their research and experiments in shadow magic. Gloamists can use onyx to keep each other from sending shadows to steal these treasures, but onyx won't stop regular humans from old-fashioned breaking and entering. After Charlie’s talent for crime gets her into too much trouble, she swears off her old career and tries to settle down with her sensible boyfriend, Vince—but when she finds a dead man in an alley and notices that even his shadow has been ripped to pieces, she can’t help trying to figure out who he was and why he met such a gruesome end. Before she knows it, Charlie is forced back into a life of lies and danger, using her skills as a thief to find a book that could unleash the full and terrifying power of the shadow world. Black is a veteran fantasy writer, which shows in the opening pages as she neatly and easily guides the reader through the engrossing world of gloamists, magical shadows, and Charlie’s brand of criminality. There's a lot of flipping back and forth between the past and the present, and though both timelines are well plotted and suspenseful, the story leans a touch too hard on the flashbacks. Still, the mystery elements are well executed, as is Charlie’s characterization, and the big twist at the end packs a satisfying punch.

Hits the marks for spooky thrills and mysterious chills.

Pub Date: May 3, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-81219-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Tor

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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

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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

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