Next book

THE RED GROVE

A thoughtful coming-of-age story enfolded inside a cleverly crafted double mystery.

A sudden death unsettles a Northern California community for women.

As the quarterly “reenactment of horror that led to the creation of our sanctuary” tells it, Red Grove was founded in the 19th century by Tamsen Nightingale, the survivor of a trek to California on which her sisters were killed and eaten by their starving husbands. Tamsen escaped, and when her own murderous spouse tracked her to this secluded grove of redwoods, she discovered that no woman could be harmed within its magical space. Sixteen-year-old Luce Shelley—who was brought to Red Grove at age 8 by her mother, Gloria, in 1989 after her beloved aunt Gem was beaten nearly to death by a boyfriend—believes fiercely in the place as refuge from the violent male world. Its healing atmosphere resuscitated Gem, albeit only to an “everdream” state that Gloria claims makes her a conduit to the dead loved ones, whom paying customers from nearby towns come to Red Grove to contact. As the novel opens, one of these “seekers” has a heart attack during a session and later dies in the hospital. The man’s son, buying into outsiders’ hostile depictions of Red Grove as a coven of witches or a lesbian commune, thinks Gloria willfully let him die and turns up menacingly at her front door; when Gloria disappears shortly thereafter, Luce suspects the son and vows to find her mother. Fontaine first paints a rich portrait of simmering tensions both between Gloria and Red Grove’s leader, Una, and within Gloria’s family, then launches a propulsive narrative of Luce’s quest for her mother, which leads her to the real story of Red Grove’s founding and the uncomfortable knowledge that violence is not exclusively employed by men. An affirmative finale shows Luce acting on her faith that Red Grove, newly based in truth, can continue to fulfill its mission as a place of peace and healing.

A thoughtful coming-of-age story enfolded inside a cleverly crafted double mystery.

Pub Date: May 14, 2024

ISBN: 9780374605810

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

HOME IS WHERE THE BODIES ARE

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 29


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Three siblings on very different paths learn that their family home may be haunted by secrets.

Eldest daughter Beth is alone with her fading mother as she takes her final breath and says something about Beth’s long-departed brother and sister, who may not have disappeared forever. Beth is still reeling from the loss of her mother when her estranged siblings show up. Michael, the youngest, hasn’t been home since their father’s disappearance seven years ago. In the meantime, he’s outgrown his siblings, trading his share of the family troubles for a high-paying job in San Jose. Nicole, the middle child, has been overpowered by addiction and prioritized tuning out reality over any sense of responsibility, much to Beth’s disgust. Though their mother’s death marks an ending for the family, it’s also a beginning, as the three siblings realize when they find a disturbing videotape among their parents’ belongings. The video, from 1999, sheds suspicion on their father’s disappearance, linking it to a long-unsolved neighborhood mystery. Was it just a series of unfortunate circumstances that broke the family apart, or does something more sinister underlie the sadness they’ve all found in life? In chapters that rotate among the family’s first-person narratives, the siblings take turns digging up stories and secrets in their search for solace.

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9798212182843

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

LONG ISLAND

A moving portrait of rueful middle age and the failure to connect.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 13


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

An acclaimed novelist revisits the central characters of his best-known work.

At the end of Brooklyn (2009), Eilis Lacey departed Ireland for the second and final time—headed back to New York and the Italian American husband she had secretly married after first traveling there for work. In her hometown of Enniscorthy, she left behind Jim Farrell, a young man she’d fallen in love with during her visit, and the inevitable gossip about her conduct. Tóibín’s 11th novel introduces readers to Eilis 20 years later, in 1976, still married to Tony Fiorello and living in the titular suburbia with their two teenage children. But Eilis’ seemingly placid existence is disturbed when a stranger confronts her, accusing Tony of having an affair with his wife—now pregnant—and threatening to leave the baby on their doorstep. “She’d known men like this in Ireland,” Tóibín writes. “Should one of them discover that their wife had been unfaithful and was pregnant as a result, they would not have the baby in the house.” This shock sends Eilis back to Enniscorthy for a visit—or perhaps a longer stay. (Eilis’ motives are as inscrutable as ever, even to herself.) She finds the never-married Jim managing his late father’s pub; unbeknownst to Eilis (and the town), he’s become involved with her widowed friend Nancy, who struggles to maintain the family chip shop. Eilis herself appears different to her old friends: “Something had happened to her in America,” Nancy concludes. Although the novel begins with a soap-operatic confrontation—and ends with a dramatic denouement, as Eilis’ fate is determined in a plot twist worthy of Edith Wharton—the author is a master of quiet, restrained prose, calmly observing the mores and mindsets of provincial Ireland, not much changed from the 1950s.

A moving portrait of rueful middle age and the failure to connect.

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9781476785110

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

Close Quickview