by Sondra Helene ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 9, 2019
In addition to the questions of marriage, this is a portrait of late-stage cancer that makes quietly clear how precious any...
“Sisters,” the old Irving Berlin song, winkingly covers primal themes of romance and family; this novel tackles them with detail and realism.
Samantha’s husband, Richard, a highly successful businessman in Boston, cannot stand her sister, Elizabeth, and is only slightly more tolerant of everyone else in their close-knit family. For years, Samantha has felt the strain of this rift, and divorce seems imminent. Then Elizabeth is diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Samantha devotes herself to her sister’s care and puts her marriage on ice for the duration. While the marriage is the frame, most of the novel concerns Samantha’s experience accompanying her sister to the treatments that extend her life for a few years and supporting her and her family. Privileged with wealth and whiteness, all the characters spend time at elegant restaurants and in luxurious vacation spots; these are the only lighter moments of the book, though the tone throughout is measured, as if appearances weigh on Samantha even as a narrator. Still, she manages to convey the inner torture she feels over her husband’s treatment of her family and then over her sister’s demise. One thread of the novel is troubling, though as realistic as the rest: Richard’s tantrums about Samantha’s family and demands that she choose him over them are textbook emotional abuse. Both spouses eventually work on revising their relationship, going out casually and vacationing together, but Samantha confesses to the reader that it’s like she has “marital PTSD.” She’s not wrong. These are the choices many women are faced with.In addition to the questions of marriage, this is a portrait of late-stage cancer that makes quietly clear how precious any extra time with a loved one can be.
Pub Date: April 9, 2019
Page Count: 328
Publisher: She Writes Press
Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2019
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019
Share your opinion of this book
More About This Book
by Lisa Jewell ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 24, 2018
Dark and unsettling, this novel’s end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed.
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
Page Count: 368
Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018
Share your opinion of this book
by Christina Lauren ‧ RELEASE DATE: April 10, 2018
With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.
Eleven years ago, he broke her heart. But he doesn’t know why she never forgave him.
Toggling between past and present, two love stories unfold simultaneously. In the first, Macy Sorensen meets and falls in love with the boy next door, Elliot Petropoulos, in the closet of her dad’s vacation home, where they hide out to discuss their favorite books. In the second, Macy is working as a doctor and engaged to a single father, and she hasn’t spoken to Elliot since their breakup. But a chance encounter forces her to confront the truth: what happened to make Macy stop speaking to Elliot? Ultimately, they’re separated not by time or physical remoteness but by emotional distance—Elliot and Macy always kept their relationship casual because they went to different schools. And as a teen, Macy has more to worry about than which girl Elliot is taking to the prom. After losing her mother at a young age, Macy is navigating her teenage years without a female role model, relying on the time-stamped notes her mother left in her father’s care for guidance. In the present day, Macy’s father is dead as well. She throws herself into her work and rarely comes up for air, not even to plan her upcoming wedding. Since Macy is still living with her fiance while grappling with her feelings for Elliot, the flashbacks offer steamy moments, tender revelations, and sweetly awkward confessions while Macy makes peace with her past and decides her future.With frank language and patient plotting, this gangly teen crush grows into a confident adult love affair.
Pub Date: April 10, 2018
Page Count: 416
Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018
Share your opinion of this book
Hey there, book lover.
We’re glad you found a book that interests you!