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HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE ME?

A poignant romance anchored by a rich cast of characters and detailed setting, which will likely appeal to fans of...

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In Tag’s historical romance, a Japanese-American woman unravels a closely guarded family secret and discovers the depths of her mother’s love.

For Kazuko Armstrong and her younger brother, Patrick, October 2000 is a time of great sadness. Their father, James, is in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease and their mother, Keiko, has suffered a debilitating stroke. Despite their grief, the siblings take great comfort in their parents’ love, which has endured despite many hardships and tragedies. Keiko Tanaka and James Armstrong grew up in Bellevue, Washington, and became engaged shortly after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. They married just before the Tanaka family was sent to a series of internment camps, including the Tule Lake Relocation Center in California, and James enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Kazuko was born at Tule Lake, and the Armstrong family wouldn’t be reunited after the end of the war. During the Tanakas’ internment, they suffered the loss of Keiko’s twin sister, Misaki, and older brother, Masao. Years later, with Keiko on her deathbed, a surprise visitor provides Kazuko with an intriguing connection to her family’s past. Tag successfully combines the story of James and Keiko’s romance with a compelling mystery. The parallel narrative skillfully weaves Kazuko’s modern-day story with Keiko’s experiences in the early 1940s, resulting in a fully realized portrait of both women and their families. The tale is further enriched by its well-developed supporting characters, including Keiko’s parents, Akemi and Isamu; and Takeo Sato, Misaki’s fiancé at Tule Lake. Tag handles the central theme of the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II in a forthright, sensitive manner, presenting a variety of viewpoints on the moral and ethical issues involved. The Tanaka, Armstrong and Sato families have very different responses to life in the camps, and as the story develops, Tag shows how the children are affected by their parents’ points of view.

A poignant romance anchored by a rich cast of characters and detailed setting, which will likely appeal to fans of historical fiction.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2014

ISBN: 978-1462114474

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Sweetwater Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2014

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IT ENDS WITH US

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 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

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LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

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

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. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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