On her way to the screen played by Elisabeth Moss, Mrs. March is absolutely right—everyone is talking about her.

MRS. MARCH

In a horror-laced psychological drama, the wife of a bestselling New York novelist learns his latest protagonist is modeled on her.

“But…isn't she...a whore?” whispers Mrs. March to the woman behind the counter at the patisserie she visits daily, who, like every other person in Manhattan, is reading, and loving, her husband's new book. Abandoning her purchases, she bolts from the store, never to return, and immediately confronts an advertisement featuring a woman smiling knowingly under the words "SHE HAD NO IDEA." Even the billboards know! This is just one of innumerable creepy details that speed Mrs. March's descent into a spiraling vortex of psychosis. Not that it's all in her head—copies of the book are everywhere, even in someone's cart at the grocery store. Debut novelist Feito sets her story in a hazy period in the pre-technology past and confines much of the action to her protagonist's claustrophobic Upper East Side apartment, where terrifying literati regularly convene for unbearable parties. Mrs. March's painfully low self-esteem drives the self-consciousness, paranoia, and jealousy that control her relationships with everyone from her housekeeper to her son to a family she runs into at the skating rink. The husband is there on a weekday? She thrills to speculate this means he's been laid off and concocts an elaborate lie to cover the real reason her own son is not in school. Mrs. March is the only character in the book who doesn't get a first name, even in a flashback to her childhood: "On tiptoes, Mrs. March cupped her hand and whispered into her mother's ear...'I have to go to the bathroom.' " While the poor woman never gets a break from the misery, Feito does offer the reader a few homeopathic drops of humor, such as when her protagonist learns that people will do just about anything you ask if you tell them you work for the New York Times. Feito is Spanish and lives in Madrid, but somehow she is the love child of Patricia Highsmith and Shirley Jackson.

On her way to the screen played by Elisabeth Moss, Mrs. March is absolutely right—everyone is talking about her.

Pub Date: Aug. 10, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-63149-861-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Liveright/Norton

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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A unique story of transcendent love.

LAYLA

An aimless young musician meets the girl of his dreams only to have his newfound happiness threatened by several inexplicable—and possibly supernatural—events.

The story opens as Leeds Gabriel meets with a detective while his girlfriend, Layla, is restrained in a room one flight above them. Through the interview, readers learn that Leeds was wasting both his time and his musical talent playing backup for a small-town wedding troupe called Garrett’s Band when he spied Layla dancing her heart out to their mediocre music at a wedding. When Leeds approaches Layla, their connection is both instant and intense. A blissful courtship follows, but then Leeds makes the mistake of posting a picture of himself with Layla on social media. A former girlfriend–turned-stalker wastes no time in finding and attacking Layla. Layla spends months recovering in a hospital, and it seems the girl Leeds fell for might be forever changed. Gone is her special spark, her quirkiness, and the connection that had entranced Leeds months before. In a last-ditch effort to save their relationship, he brings Layla back to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. When they get there, though, Leeds meets Willow, another guest, and finds himself drawn to her in spite of himself. As events unfold, it becomes clear that Willow will either be the key to saving Leeds’ relationship with Layla or the catalyst that finally extinguishes the last shreds of their epic romance. Told entirely from Leeds’ point of view, the author’s first foray into paranormal romance does not disappoint. Peppered with elements of mystery, psychological thriller, and contemporary romance, the novel explores questions about how quickly true love can develop, as well as the conflicts that can imperil even the strongest connections. Despite a limited cast of characters and very few setting changes, the narrative manages to remain both fast-paced and engaging. The conclusion leaves a few too many loose ends, but the chemistry between the characters and unexpected twists throughout make for a satisfying read.

A unique story of transcendent love.

Pub Date: Dec. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5420-0017-8

Page Count: 301

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2020

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