THE SILVERBERG BUSINESS

A weird but oddly convincing creature feature.

In 1888, a Jewish PI from Chicago who goes by the name Shannon is hired to find Nathan Silverberg, a missing developer behind the creation of a Texas colony for Romanian Jewish refugees.

Shannon quickly discovers that Silverberg was swindled out of his money and murdered, but tracking down the killers, including a gambler with white hair and red eyes named Stephens, proves an epic undertaking. With his special onyx ring, Stephens sends the detective off into a bizarro alternate world where people with skull heads and "tonguelets" flit around and play epic games of poker. Shannon, who gets hit in the head a lot, has difficulty enough separating dreams from reality, but he's hardly prepared for the scenarios that unfold in this dimension. They include his seduction by a scantily clad skullhead called “the saloon girl.” Ultimately, his success at poker will determine not only his own survival, but also that of people in the "actual" world faced with sandstorms "powerful enough to sink a civilization." As in real life, the book's setting of Indianola was twice destroyed by hurricanes in the late 1800s. Other aspects of the book are drawn from Texas history by Wexler, a relaxed surrealist who is less interested in big, scary effects than subtle underpinnings and intellectual concepts—"determinism in modern thought," for example. Ultimately, the Jewish component is underdeveloped and Wexler's "inside" narrative game can bog down for stretches. But any book with a guitar-playing sheriff, an ex-con named Slack-Face Jake, and a giant in a bowler hat is worth a spin.

A weird but oddly convincing creature feature.

Pub Date: Aug. 23, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-61873-201-9

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Small Beer Press

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 107


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

IT STARTS WITH US

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

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 107


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

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 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

THE BOARDWALK BOOKSHOP

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.

Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-778-38608-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

Close Quickview