Part gothic novel, part adventure story, but primarily a meditation on surmounting misfortunes that may lie beyond an...

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Dead parents haunt Shreve’s 16th novel (You Are the Love of My Life, 2012, etc.).

In 2007, George Washington University professor Georgianna Grove still grapples with the mysterious tragedy that orphaned her as a small child. In 1941, when Georgianna was 4, her father, William, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania, went to prison for murdering her mother on a canoe trip to the Wisconsin summer camp he ran. Four years later, William died in prison, leaving Georgianna to face a lonely childhood with unapproachable, anti-Semitic maternal grandparents. In reaction, Georgianna made the concept of "home" central to her research as an anthropologist and has continually welcomed strangers into the house where she raised her own three children. They’d become fatherless themselves at ages 4, 2, and still-in-the-womb when Georgianna’s husband died in Vietnam. On her 70th birthday, Georgianna receives a letter from the only other person from the 1941 canoe trip who's still alive. At the time, Roosevelt McCrary was an 11-year-old child who had been hired, along with his mother, to work at the camp despite being black. As an adult, Roosevelt became a part owner of the camp and has retired there. Hoping he has information to exonerate William, Georgianna decides to revisit the camp and nearby murder site for the first time. She drags along her family—grown children Venus, Rosie, and Nicolas, whose work on Barack Obama’s campaign hovers in the background; Rosie’s 13-year-old son, Thomas, in the throes of grieving his own father’s recent death; Nicolas’ son, 15-year-old Jesse, and 4-year-old daughter, Oona, coincidentally Georgianna’s age in 1941. Georgianna discovers that her parents’ lives and deaths were more complex and mysterious than she thought and not truly knowable. Shreve creates a spooky atmosphere with stormy weather, eerie parallels between past and present, and at least one threateningly crazy woman. Even spookier is the backdrop of 20th-century racism, anti-Semitism, and anti-immigration feeling that are all too familiar today.

Part gothic novel, part adventure story, but primarily a meditation on surmounting misfortunes that may lie beyond an individual’s control.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-393-29294-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Norton

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Hoover is one of the freshest voices in new-adult fiction, and her latest resonates with true emotion, unforgettable...

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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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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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