Meyers’ women resonate as strong, complicated and conflicted, and the writing flows effortlessly in this sweet yet sassy...

THE COMFORT OF LIES

Meyers follows up her successful debut novel with this tale of three women and the little girl who ties them all together.

Tia's married lover, Nathan, dumps her after she reveals that she is pregnant with his child. A happily married college professor who lives in the suburbs, Nathan wants nothing to do with her or the child she carries and urges her to have an abortion. Instead, Tia has a little girl and gives it to an upscale couple, Peter and Caroline, who can’t have children of their own. Every year, Caroline sends photos and a brief update on the child’s progress, but this year when Savannah turns 5, Tia decides to contact Nathan. She sends him a letter with the photos in it, which Nathan’s wife, Juliette, intercepts. Although Nathan confessed the affair, Juliette, who is mother to Nathan’s two sons, didn’t know about the baby. Meyers tells the story of Nathan and Tia’s love child and the three women who cross paths in their quest to become more involved in her life. The narrative also includes chapters told from Nathan’s point of view. The stories of the lovelorn Tia, who spends her days working with elderly people who have lost hope, Juliette, the cosmetics mogul, and Caroline, the doctor who is desperately unsuited to be a mother, are chronicled with warmth and depth. Although the reader may find some of the choices made by the characters hard to understand, this is still a believable tale, and the characters crackle with both intelligence and wit.

Meyers’ women resonate as strong, complicated and conflicted, and the writing flows effortlessly in this sweet yet sassy novel about love, women and motherhood.

Pub Date: Feb. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4516-7301-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Nov. 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

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Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

THEN SHE WAS GONE

Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past.

Laurel Mack’s life stopped in many ways the day her 15-year-old daughter, Ellie, left the house to study at the library and never returned. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Ten years later, Ellie’s remains and her backpack are found, though the police are unable to determine the reasons for her disappearance and death. After Ellie’s funeral, Laurel begins a relationship with Floyd, a man she meets in a cafe. She's disarmed by Floyd’s charm, but when she meets his young daughter, Poppy, Laurel is startled by her resemblance to Ellie. As the novel progresses, Laurel becomes increasingly determined to learn what happened to Ellie, especially after discovering an odd connection between Poppy’s mother and her daughter even as her relationship with Floyd is becoming more serious. Jewell’s (I Found You, 2017, etc.) latest thriller moves at a brisk pace even as she plays with narrative structure: The book is split into three sections, including a first one which alternates chapters between the time of Ellie’s disappearance and the present and a second section that begins as Laurel and Floyd meet. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. In the third section, Jewell alternates narrators and moments in time: The narrator switches to alternating first-person points of view (told by Poppy’s mother and Floyd) interspersed with third-person narration of Ellie’s experiences and Laurel’s discoveries in the present. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.

Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.

Pub Date: April 24, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5464-5

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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ANIMAL FARM

A FAIRY STORY

A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

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