DRAGON HARVEST

Predictable — with the big following the Lanny Budd saga has secured, for this again is dependable contemporary adventure, a thriller written against the headlines, with plausible (sometimes) footnotes to history in the contribution such a character as Lanny Budd might be making. Lanny, "scion of privilege" is still acting as P(residential) A(gent), still walking the tightrope of the appeaser, the friend of high-ranking Nasis, of British , of French collaborators — while beneath the patina of the art collector and dealer, who refuses to take sides, he is actually feeding important material to the White House, and helping the German Underground with funds, through Monck, now that Trudi is dead. Two new women enter his life, but he manages to avoid entangling alliances though Liebeth, another Irma in the making, angles for his favor; and Laurel Creston, writer, has to be smuggled out of Germany, via a trick in Lanny's repertoire of the occult, Hitler, Gearing, Hess — all play into Lanny's hands, but with the actual blitzkring under way, and Paris in German hands, Lanny is left pretty close to last act in his double reis...My humph on the enormous success of this series (this is, I think, the sixth) is that Sinclair tells a fast paced story which has a background of known facts and of backstairs gossip of the rich and famous.

Pub Date: June 8, 1945

ISBN: 1934568619

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: April 11, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1945

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Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

BAREFOOT

Privileged 30-somethings hide from their woes in Nantucket.

Hilderbrand’s saga follows the lives of Melanie, Brenda and Vicki. Vicki, alpha mom and perfect wife, is battling late-stage lung cancer and, in an uncharacteristically flaky moment, opts for chemotherapy at the beach. Vicki shares ownership of a tiny Nantucket cottage with her younger sister Brenda. Brenda, a literature professor, tags along for the summer, partly out of familial duty, partly because she’s fleeing the fallout from her illicit affair with a student. As for Melanie, she gets a last minute invite from Vicki, after Melanie confides that Melanie’s husband is having an affair. Between Melanie and Brenda, Vicki feels her two young boys should have adequate supervision, but a disastrous first day on the island forces the trio to source some outside help. Enter Josh, the adorable and affable local who is hired to tend to the boys. On break from college, Josh learns about the pitfalls of mature love as he falls for the beauties in the snug abode. Josh likes beer, analysis-free relationships and hot older women. In a word, he’s believable. In addition to a healthy dose of testosterone, the novel is balanced by powerful descriptions of Vicki’s bond with her two boys. Emotions run high as she prepares for death.

Nothing original, but in Hilderbrand’s hands it’s easy to get lost in the story.

Pub Date: July 2, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-316-01858-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2007

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More about grief and tragedy than romance.

FRIENDS FOREVER

Five friends meet on their first day of kindergarten at the exclusive Atwood School and remain lifelong friends through tragedy and triumph.

When Gabby, Billy, Izzie, Andy and Sean meet in the toy kitchen of the kindergarten classroom on their first day of school, no one can know how strong the group’s friendship will remain. Despite their different personalities and interests, the five grow up together and become even closer as they come into their own talents and life paths. But tragedy will strike and strike again. Family troubles, abusive parents, drugs, alcohol, stress, grief and even random bad luck will put pressure on each of them individually and as a group. Known for her emotional romances, Steel makes a bit of a departure with this effort that follows a group of friends through young adulthood. But even as one tragedy after another befalls the friends, the impact of the events is blunted by a distant narrative style that lacks emotional intensity. 

More about grief and tragedy than romance.

Pub Date: July 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-34321-3

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2012

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