THE ADVENTURES OF MILES AND ISABEL

Rich and amiable, told with a fresh wit and a good eye for history.

From Australian Gilling (The Sooterkin, 2000), a delightful second novel about two unusual young people who fall in love in New South Wales in the 19th century.

Romantics would say that certain people are destined to be together: Miles and Isabel certainly look like candidates. Not only were they born on the same night in 1856, they were born in the same theater—during a performance of Hamlet. Miles’s mother, Eliza McGinty, was a renowned Sydney actress who turned into a notorious one as the first woman in Australia ever to play the melancholy Dane—and while pregnant, at that. The critics clucked, of course, but the novelty brought all of New South Wales out to see the production—even Louisa Dowling, who argued with her banker husband Ernest that if the pregnant Eliza McGinty could perform Hamlet, then the pregnant Louisa Dowling could sit through it. She turned out to be wrong, however, and both she and Eliza went into labor long before the duel with Laertes. Miles grew up in the theater with his mother, of course, and went on stage himself as assistant to Zbigniew Wolunsky, the famed levitator. Isabel had a more sheltered upbringing, but at the age of seven she was nevertheless the first woman in Australia to go up in a hot-air balloon. She rebelled against the marriage her parents tried to arrange for her, however, and escaped by going to live with her uncle John Galbraith, a physician who attended Miles one day when he broke his arm in an accident. Miles stayed at the Galbraith home during his recuperation and met Isabel there. By then, he had become interested in creating a flying machine (inspired by his experiences as a levitator), and he and Isabel collaborated on the conquest of the heavens—and the earth.

Rich and amiable, told with a fresh wit and a good eye for history.

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-87113-861-1

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2002

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IT ENDS WITH US

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of...

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Hoover’s (November 9, 2015, etc.) latest tackles the difficult subject of domestic violence with romantic tenderness and emotional heft.

At first glance, the couple is edgy but cute: Lily Bloom runs a flower shop for people who hate flowers; Ryle Kincaid is a surgeon who says he never wants to get married or have kids. They meet on a rooftop in Boston on the night Ryle loses a patient and Lily attends her abusive father’s funeral. The provocative opening takes a dark turn when Lily receives a warning about Ryle’s intentions from his sister, who becomes Lily’s employee and close friend. Lily swears she’ll never end up in another abusive home, but when Ryle starts to show all the same warning signs that her mother ignored, Lily learns just how hard it is to say goodbye. When Ryle is not in the throes of a jealous rage, his redeeming qualities return, and Lily can justify his behavior: “I think we needed what happened on the stairwell to happen so that I would know his past and we’d be able to work on it together,” she tells herself. Lily marries Ryle hoping the good will outweigh the bad, and the mother-daughter dynamics evolve beautifully as Lily reflects on her childhood with fresh eyes. Diary entries fancifully addressed to TV host Ellen DeGeneres serve as flashbacks to Lily’s teenage years, when she met her first love, Atlas Corrigan, a homeless boy she found squatting in a neighbor’s house. When Atlas turns up in Boston, now a successful chef, he begs Lily to leave Ryle. Despite the better option right in front of her, an unexpected complication forces Lily to cut ties with Atlas, confront Ryle, and try to end the cycle of abuse before it’s too late. The relationships are portrayed with compassion and honesty, and the author’s note at the end that explains Hoover’s personal connection to the subject matter is a must-read.

Packed with riveting drama and painful truths, this book powerfully illustrates the devastation of abuse—and the strength of the survivors.

Pub Date: Aug. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1036-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2016

LOVE AND OTHER WORDS

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

ISBN: 978-1-5011-2801-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Jan. 22, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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