Full of insights and pleasures.

FIVE TUESDAYS IN WINTER

The first collection of stories from an acclaimed novelist.

King, who won the inaugural Kirkus Prize for Fiction for Euphoria (2014), can make you fall in love with a character fast, especially the smart, vulnerable, often painfully self-conscious adolescent protagonists featured in several of the 10 stories collected here, half previously published, half new. In "Creature," the fetching opener, 14-year-old Carol is hired to be a live-in mother's helper by a rich woman whose children and grandchildren are coming for a two-week visit, a woman so entitled she breezily renames her Cara because she likes it better. Under the influence of Jane Eyre, Carol is swept away by the charms of the woman's newly married son, who's arrived without his wife. "You cannot know these blistering feelings," she writes to her friend, "you have not yet met your Rochester." As in Father of the Rain (2010), alcoholism and mental illness shadow many characters' lives. Carol has a father in rehab, while the unnamed boy narrator of "When in the Dordogne" has parents who have left for France following the father's nervous breakdown and failed suicide attempt. His babysitters are a pair of college boys with whom he has so much more fun than usual that he dreams that his parents will get in a car crash and never return. The protagonists of other stories show King's range, among them a gay man who receives a surprise visit from his homophobic college roommate, a Frenchwoman living in the U.S. whose husband has abruptly moved on, a German woman taking her bratty daughter on holiday to an unpromising inn on the North Sea, a 91-year-old visiting his young granddaughter in the hospital. The final story, "The Man at the Door," about frustrations of the writing process, also tells of its joys: "This morning, however, without warning, a sentence rose, a strange unexpected chain of words meeting the surface in one long gorgeous arc....Words flooded her and her hand ached to keep up with them and above it all her mind was singing here it is here it is and she was smiling."

Full of insights and pleasures.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8021-5876-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Grove

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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

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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The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

REGRETTING YOU

When tragedy strikes, a mother and daughter forge a new life.

Morgan felt obligated to marry her high school sweetheart, Chris, when she got pregnant with their daughter, Clara. But she secretly got along much better with Chris’ thoughtful best friend, Jonah, who was dating her sister, Jenny. Now her life as a stay-at-home parent has left her feeling empty but not ungrateful for what she has. Jonah and Jenny eventually broke up, but years later they had a one-night stand and Jenny got pregnant with their son, Elijah. Now Jonah is back in town, engaged to Jenny, and working at the local high school as Clara’s teacher. Clara dreams of being an actress and has a crush on Miller, who plans to go to film school, but her father doesn't approve. It doesn’t help that Miller already has a jealous girlfriend who stalks him via text from college. But Clara and Morgan’s home life changes radically when Chris and Jenny are killed in an accident, revealing long-buried secrets and forcing Morgan to reevaluate the life she chose when early motherhood forced her hand. Feeling betrayed by the adults in her life, Clara marches forward, acting both responsible and rebellious as she navigates her teenage years without her father and her aunt, while Jonah and Morgan's relationship evolves in the wake of the accident. Front-loaded with drama, the story leaves plenty of room for the mother and daughter to unpack their feelings and decide what’s next.

The emotions run high, the conversations run deep, and the relationships ebb and flow with grace.

Pub Date: Dec. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5420-1642-1

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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