by Peter Rock ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 12, 2009
A moving evocation of life on the fringes, sparking many questions about our regulated society.
Does Father know best? His teenage daughter is forced to wonder after they’re evicted from their city-park cave in this harrowing fifth novel from Rock (Writing/Reed Coll.; The Bewildered, 2005, etc.).
Caroline and Father had lived in the spacious park in Portland, Ore., for four years, Caroline tells us via her journal. After Caroline’s mother’s death, Father and Caroline were temporarily separated, but when Caroline was nine Father removed her secretly from her foster parents in Idaho. They have made a stable home for themselves in a Portland park. Father is scrupulous about housekeeping. He supervises her education; dictionaries and encyclopedias do the rest. Caroline has taught herself about the forest. She knows where the morels are. She can climb trees and smell animals. Though Father is strict, he allows her to roam. (He’s a vet, a recovering alcoholic and a Thoreauvian idealist; we don’t know more than that.) The 13-year-old will look back on these as happy years; no friends, true, but she has her talisman Randy, a plastic horse. For his little autodidact, Rock has found just the right voice: forthright, with a singular purity. As a result, we care enormously about her fate. Everything changes for the pair when a jogger discovers their hideaway. Armed cops break it up. Father and Caroline are put in the custody of separate social workers. Once they find no evidence of abuse, they settle the pair on a horse farm; Father is to do chores, while Caroline will go to a regular school. No, decides Father. “Regular won’t fit you.” They steal away, back to Portland, living on the streets despite the newly assertive Caroline’s protests. Father makes dumb mistakes and becomes increasingly paranoid, though his devotion to Caroline is constant. Away from the city again, in the mountains, Father will make his dumbest mistake, leading to catastrophe. Caroline’s intuition, keener than his own, might have saved them.A moving evocation of life on the fringes, sparking many questions about our regulated society.
Pub Date: March 12, 2009
Page Count: 240
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2009
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by Colleen Hoover ‧ RELEASE DATE: March 18, 2014
Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
Sydney and Ridge make beautiful music together in a love triangle written by Hoover (Losing Hope, 2013, etc.), with a link to a digital soundtrack by American Idol contestant Griffin Peterson.
Hoover is a master at writing scenes from dual perspectives. While music student Sydney is watching her neighbor Ridge play guitar on his balcony across the courtyard, Ridge is watching Sydney’s boyfriend, Hunter, secretly make out with her best friend on her balcony. The two begin a songwriting partnership that grows into something more once Sydney dumps Hunter and decides to crash with Ridge and his two roommates while she gets back on her feet. She finds out after the fact that Ridge already has a long-distance girlfriend, Maggie—and that he's deaf. Ridge’s deafness doesn’t impede their relationship or their music. In fact, it creates opportunities for sexy nonverbal communication and witty text messages: Ridge tenderly washes off a message he wrote on Sydney’s hand in ink, and when Sydney adds a few too many e’s to the word “squee” in her text, Ridge replies, “If those letters really make up a sound, I am so, so glad I can’t hear it.” While they fight their mutual attraction, their hope that “maybe someday” they can be together playfully comes out in their music. Peterson’s eight original songs flesh out Sydney’s lyrics with a good mix of moody musical styles: “Living a Lie” has the drama of a Coldplay piano ballad, while the chorus of “Maybe Someday” marches to the rhythm of the Lumineers. But Ridge’s lingering feelings for Maggie cause heartache for all three of them. Independent Maggie never complains about Ridge’s friendship with Sydney, and it's hard to even want Ridge to leave Maggie when she reveals her devastating secret. But Ridge can’t hide his feelings for Sydney long—and they face their dilemma with refreshing emotional honesty.Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable characters and just the right amount of sexual tension.
Pub Date: March 18, 2014
Page Count: 384
Review Posted Online: May 6, 2014
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by Kristin Hannah ‧ RELEASE DATE: Feb. 3, 2015
Still, a respectful and absorbing page-turner.
Hannah’s new novel is an homage to the extraordinary courage and endurance of Frenchwomen during World War II.
In 1995, an elderly unnamed widow is moving into an Oregon nursing home on the urging of her controlling son, Julien, a surgeon. This trajectory is interrupted when she receives an invitation to return to France to attend a ceremony honoring passeurs: people who aided the escape of others during the war. Cut to spring, 1940: Viann has said goodbye to husband Antoine, who's off to hold the Maginot line against invading Germans. She returns to tending her small farm, Le Jardin, in the Loire Valley, teaching at the local school and coping with daughter Sophie’s adolescent rebellion. Soon, that world is upended: The Germans march into Paris and refugees flee south, overrunning Viann’s land. Her long-estranged younger sister, Isabelle, who has been kicked out of multiple convent schools, is sent to Le Jardin by Julien, their father in Paris, a drunken, decidedly unpaternal Great War veteran. As the depredations increase in the occupied zone—food rationing, systematic looting, and the billeting of a German officer, Capt. Beck, at Le Jardin—Isabelle’s outspokenness is a liability. She joins the Resistance, volunteering for dangerous duty: shepherding downed Allied airmen across the Pyrenees to Spain. Code-named the Nightingale, Isabelle will rescue many before she's captured. Meanwhile, Viann’s journey from passive to active resistance is less dramatic but no less wrenching. Hannah vividly demonstrates how the Nazis, through starvation, intimidation and barbarity both casual and calculated, demoralized the French, engineering a community collapse that enabled the deportations and deaths of more than 70,000 Jews. Hannah’s proven storytelling skills are ideally suited to depicting such cataclysmic events, but her tendency to sentimentalize undermines the gravitas of this tale.Still, a respectful and absorbing page-turner.
Pub Date: Feb. 3, 2015
Page Count: 448
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2014
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2014
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