A breezy, charming novel that finds humor in the societal pressures to find a husband.


A woman fakes her way through a London vacation in Macaulay’s comedic debut novel.

Third grade teacher Lucy Gray does not have much time for a love life, but everyone in her family has been getting married recently, and she can’t stand to attend her sister’s wedding alone. She begs a co-worker to come and pretend to be her boyfriend, but he ends up making out with her cousin in the photo booth—a fact that everyone discovers just as Lucy is giving her maid of honor speech. Afterward, the wedding psychic (it’s an ’80s-themed wedding) tells Lucy she needs to start listening to signs from the universe. It turns out that her sister, the indecisive Marian, booked two Christmastime honeymoons, and after she and her husband leave on their cruise to the islands of Greece, Lucy realizes there’s an unused hotel suite sitting in London. “I just happened to hear a message from someone in London because Marian happened to forget to cancel her reservation – something she’d never do in a million years,” thinks Lucy. “If this isn’t some kind of sign, then….” The only problem is that, while staying at the honeymooners-only Chaizer London, she’ll have to pretend to be Marian…and keep making excuses for why her new husband isn’t with it her. While reconnecting with an old classmate who happens to be in town, Lucy finally begins to feel a bit of freedom. Cary Stewart is an actor—a handsome one at that—and he proves amenable to stepping into the role of temporary husband. However, as her ruse attracts the attention of overzealous hotel employee Oliver Burke and her family back in Massachusetts begins to interfere, Lucy’s honeymoon-for-one transforms from a relaxing getaway into an increasingly complicated deception. Macaulay’s prose is smooth and funny, capturing Lucy’s family-related neuroses: “The next day, as I step outside The Chaizer into the morning sunshine, I am sad to report that it still hasn’t rained. Not once. In London. London, a place known for its rain. And Prince William. It’s almost as if my mother called Mother Nature and told her, mother-to-mother, to hold off until I left, just to spite me for embarking on this fool’s mission.” The plot is fairly absurd: Why would any hotel care whether or not its guests were really on their honeymoon? But Macaulay unfurls it in such a pleasant, slightly goofy way that its many contrivances seem forgivable. Lucy is an enjoyable protagonist, and her enthusiasm for the places she visits rubs off on the reader. The supporting characters are likable as well, and Macaulay’s portrayal of Lucy’s cartoonishly overbearing family—mostly in the form of blog posts—is truly anxiety inducing. Readers looking for a lighthearted love story with plenty of London coziness and Christmas cheer can do far worse than Macaulay’s charming vacation story.

A breezy, charming novel that finds humor in the societal pressures to find a husband.

Pub Date: N/A


Page Count: 261

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2019

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The years pass by at a fast and steamy clip in Blume’s latest adult novel (Wifey, not reviewed; Smart Women, 1984) as two friends find loyalties and affections tested as they grow into young women. In sixth grade, when Victoria Weaver is asked by new girl Caitlin Somers to spend the summer with her on Martha’s Vineyard, her life changes forever. Victoria, or more commonly Vix, lives in a small house; her brother has muscular dystrophy; her mother is unhappy, and money is scarce. Caitlin, on the other hand, lives part of the year with her wealthy mother Phoebe, who’s just moved to Albuquerque, and summers with her father Lamb, equally affluent, on the Vineyard. The story of how this casual invitation turns the two girls into what they call "Summer sisters" is prefaced with a prologue in which Vix is asked by Caitlin to be her matron of honor. The years in between are related in brief segments by numerous characters, but mostly by Vix. Caitlin, determined never to be ordinary, is always testing the limits, and in adolescence falls hard for Von, an older construction worker, while Vix falls for his friend Bru. Blume knows the way kids and teens speak, but her two female leads are less credible as they reach adulthood. After high school, Caitlin travels the world and can’t understand why Vix, by now at Harvard on a scholarship and determined to have a better life than her mother has had, won’t drop out and join her. Though the wedding briefly revives Vix’s old feelings for Bru, whom Caitlin is marrying, Vix is soon in love with Gus, another old summer friend, and a more compatible match. But Caitlin, whose own demons have been hinted at, will not be so lucky. The dark and light sides of friendship breathlessly explored in a novel best saved for summer beachside reading.

Pub Date: May 8, 1998

ISBN: 0-385-32405-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1998

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Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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