An exquisite collection that is candid, compassionate, and emotionally complex.


This debut collection limns the inner lives of women who have just become, will soon be, decline to be, or long to be mothers.

“You can’t know the joy until—,” says the teary-eyed mother of a woman who has just announced that she does not intend to have children, in an exchange tucked into “Grow Your Eyelashes,” the opening story of Rosenwaike’s empathetic collection. “You just can’t know it.” To this, the daughter replies, “Look how happy I’m making you.” Ultimately, the young woman gets pregnant and decides to have the baby. However, “Grow Your Eyelashes” is not really her story but rather one told through the eyes of her sister, whose struggle with infertility is making her the very opposite of happy. The effect of babies (newborn, unborn) on the lives and emotions of parents (and those who long to be or decline to be parents) is at the heart of all 12 stories in this deeply resonant collection. In “Field Notes,” a 30-year-old biologist connects with the inquisitive 9-year-old daughter of the receptionist at a research facility in which she works even as the biologist decides to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. In “Period, Ellipsis, Full Stop,” a freelance book editor suffers a miscarriage and mulls the pursuit of perfection, the expectation of effortlessness: “As if you could set out to do something and get it right the first time, as if the whole of life wasn’t about trying again.” The push-pull of life and death, the tug of postpartum depression, the shame of deception, the guilt of separation—all are explored in these pages. “People say that a baby changes everything, but is that true?” Rosenwaike writes in “Parental Fade,” a story about a couple embarking on the slow, painful process of sleep training. “Are we more patient or less? More generous or more selfish? More engaged with the world or more in retreat from it? More accepting of mortality or more frightened of dying?” These questions, considered here, are among the things that may keep parents up at night.

An exquisite collection that is candid, compassionate, and emotionally complex.

Pub Date: March 19, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-385-54403-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Nov. 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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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

ISBN: 978-1-4767-5316-4

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 6, 2014

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.


Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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