A thrilling war tale, dramatically engrossing and historically authentic.

GETTYSBURG BY MORNING

In this novel, a young woman intent on fighting for the Union cause during the Civil War disguises herself as a man.

In 1861, the nation hangs on the precipice of war, and Massachusetts teenager Eloise Jacobson, an outspoken critic of slavery, prepares to do her part. She’s armed with a remarkable education, and since her family operates a telegraph office, she is skilled at Morse code. But her desire to contribute to the war effort is rebuffed because she is a woman, a rejection delivered by no less than Oliver Wendell Holmes. Her brother, Edward, enlists in the Army but, following their father’s death, loses his nerve, a gutless decision that threatens to ruin the family’s reputation. When Edward abandons his commitment and runs south, Eloise is struck by an ingenious, if radical, idea—she will assume the appearance of a man and take her brother’s place, both saving the family name and providing her with an opportunity to fight. Her transformation is remarkable—she even takes up smoking a pipe in order to give her voice a more masculine timbre. With great intelligence and subtlety, O’Brien chronicles the fortunes of Eloise and Edward—the latter eventually overcomes his cowardice but only to fight for the Confederate side, making the siblings war enemies. Eloise is a remarkable and memorable hero—deeply intelligent and equally decent, she is profoundly changed by her experiences of battle and death and fully realizes the societal limitations placed on her gender: “I was surprised by how much my deception allowed me more freedom and responsibility than my real identity. I never realized just how merely being a woman could hamper my freedom of movement and my entrance into establishments.” This is a historically astute story that deftly highlights an element of the war largely neglected.

A thrilling war tale, dramatically engrossing and historically authentic.

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-59211-101-5

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Addison & Highsmith

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2022

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Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

IT STARTS WITH US

The sequel to It Ends With Us (2016) shows the aftermath of domestic violence through the eyes of a single mother.

Lily Bloom is still running a flower shop; her abusive ex-husband, Ryle Kincaid, is still a surgeon. But now they’re co-parenting a daughter, Emerson, who's almost a year old. Lily won’t send Emerson to her father’s house overnight until she’s old enough to talk—“So she can tell me if something happens”—but she doesn’t want to fight for full custody lest it become an expensive legal drama or, worse, a physical fight. When Lily runs into Atlas Corrigan, a childhood friend who also came from an abusive family, she hopes their friendship can blossom into love. (For new readers, their history unfolds in heartfelt diary entries that Lily addresses to Finding Nemo star Ellen DeGeneres as she considers how Atlas was a calming presence during her turbulent childhood.) Atlas, who is single and running a restaurant, feels the same way. But even though she’s divorced, Lily isn’t exactly free. Behind Ryle’s veneer of civility are his jealousy and resentment. Lily has to plan her dates carefully to avoid a confrontation. Meanwhile, Atlas’ mother returns with shocking news. In between, Lily and Atlas steal away for romantic moments that are even sweeter for their authenticity as Lily struggles with child care, breastfeeding, and running a business while trying to find time for herself.

Through palpable tension balanced with glimmers of hope, Hoover beautifully captures the heartbreak and joy of starting over.

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-668-00122-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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