A noble attempt to unpack Uruguay’s complexities and one family’s navigation of politics, American meddling, and each other.

ACCIDENTALS

A son explores his family’s complicated past and the natural beauty and history of Uruguay, their homeland.

Gabriel doesn’t understand why, after more than 30 years in California, his mother wants to move back to her native Uruguay. Her father died and left her a ranch, or estancia, that she wants to turn into an organic farm, and she wants Gabriel to come with her. Gabriel doesn’t want to disrupt his routine. He has a boring job that pays well, and he likes to go bird-watching. Accompanying his mother to Uruguay is supposed to be temporary. He’ll be there long enough to help her get the estancia on its feet. However, he soon finds himself drawn in by the family members he doesn’t know, the beauty of the land, and a local biologist named Alejandra, who’s looking for undiscovered microbes near the family’s land. The longer Gabriel stays in Uruguay the more he’s drawn into the family’s squabbles over what to do with the land—follow his uncle’s plans to build a large rice plantation and sell into European markets or help his mother achieve her dream of growing organic produce for the local communities? The possible discovery of a new bird species on the family land brings Gabriel and Alejandra closer together and lays the groundwork for their burgeoning relationship. Gaines’ novel is deeply researched, and the reader will walk away with an understanding of not only Uruguay’s repressive regimes and the people killed by the government, but also biomes, bird preservation, rice cultivation, agricultural markets in South America, and more. The author loves Uruguay and desperately wants the reader to feel her same affection for the history, flora, fauna, politics, culture, and the people. Ultimately, her quest to make the reader care for Uruguay gets in the way of the storytelling.

A noble attempt to unpack Uruguay’s complexities and one family’s navigation of politics, American meddling, and each other.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-948814-16-4

Page Count: 342

Publisher: Torrey House Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

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: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 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...

MAYBE SOMEDAY

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 7, 2014

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