A nostalgic immersion in the mind-blowing 1960s.

HIPPIE

Prolific Brazilian author Coelho is back with another novel, loosely based on his experiences growing up (a problematic phrase) in the psychedelic 1960s and '70s.

The novel reads rather like a series of impressions clustered around a trip (no pun intended) through Europe and toward Kathmandu. While the narrative is written in the third person, it doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to identify some aspects of a character named “Paulo” (also referred to as “the Brazilian”) with the author. This character has linked up with Karla in Amsterdam in September 1970. They meet, appropriately enough, in Dam Square, perhaps the hippie center of the cosmos. Karla is Dutch and a Protestant, and she yearns to see the world from a wider perspective. She’s at peace with solitude, and her dream involves “traveling to Nepal...to find a cave and remain there alone until her teeth fell out, [and] her hair became white.” Meeting Paulo complicates both of their lives, however, for she would like him to be her travel companion on a bus trip from Amsterdam to Kathmandu, through Austria, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Turkey, and beyond. There are 20 people on the bus, including a Frenchman and his daughter (occasionally mistaken for man and wife) as well as Rayan, a charismatic Irishman, and his stunning girlfriend, Mirthe. They all tend to behave as we imagine hippies are supposed to behave—they take drugs, skinny dip in a river, and show an interest in ecstatic experiences. When they arrive for an extended stay in Istanbul, Karla and Paulo’s relationship becomes even more complicated, as she feels drawn to him in a way he can’t reciprocate.

A nostalgic immersion in the mind-blowing 1960s.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-525-65561-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

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Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

ALL YOUR PERFECTS

Named for an imperfectly worded fortune cookie, Hoover's (It Ends with Us, 2016, etc.) latest compares a woman’s relationship with her husband before and after she finds out she’s infertile.

Quinn meets her future husband, Graham, in front of her soon-to-be-ex-fiance’s apartment, where Graham is about to confront him for having an affair with his girlfriend. A few years later, they are happily married but struggling to conceive. The “then and now” format—with alternating chapters moving back and forth in time—allows a hopeful romance to blossom within a dark but relatable dilemma. Back then, Quinn’s bad breakup leads her to the love of her life. In the now, she’s exhausted a laundry list of fertility options, from IVF treatments to adoption, and the silver lining is harder to find. Quinn’s bad relationship with her wealthy mother also prevents her from asking for more money to throw at the problem. But just when Quinn’s narrative starts to sound like she’s writing a long Facebook rant about her struggles, she reveals the larger issue: Ever since she and Graham have been trying to have a baby, intimacy has become a chore, and she doesn’t know how to tell him. Instead, she hopes the contents of a mystery box she’s kept since their wedding day will help her decide their fate. With a few well-timed silences, Hoover turns the fairly common problem of infertility into the more universal problem of poor communication. Graham and Quinn may or may not become parents, but if they don’t talk about their feelings, they won’t remain a couple, either.

Finding positivity in negative pregnancy-test results, this depiction of a marriage in crisis is nearly perfect.

Pub Date: July 17, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7159-8

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Atria

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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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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