Maynard creates a world rich and real enough to hold the pain she fills it with.

COUNT THE WAYS

Since she was once a homeless orphan, Eleanor's chaotic, joyous family and farm mean everything to her. And then....

How much pain and loss can one person take? How can you end up evicted from a world you built yourself? How can doing the right thing backfire totally? In her 10th novel, Maynard vividly imagines a scenario that answers these questions with hard-won wisdom, patiently leading her protagonist and her readers through the valley of bitterness and isolation to what lies on the other side. When she is just 16, Eleanor's alcoholic, self-involved parents are killed in a car crash. At boarding school, she comforts herself by creating picture books about an orphan who travels the world; these sell to a publisher, and by the time she's a sophomore in college, she has enough money to drop out, drive into the countryside, and buy a farm. "It looked like a house where people who loved each other had lived," she thinks. If you build it, they will come—right? Nonetheless, several years go by in solitude, and not without additional tragedy. At last, she meets Cam, the handsome, redheaded woodworker who will give her three children they both adore. But even as Eleanor revels in motherhood with every cell of her being, her glue gun, and her pie pan, she knows fate cannot be trusted. "If anything really terrible ever happened to one of our children, I couldn't survive," she tells her husband. Could loving her children too much be her downfall? she worries. When an accident that her husband could have prevented changes their lives, she will find out. She will find out how, in your grief, you can drive away the people you love most. And she will find out, slowly, what you can do about that. The novel bites off a lot—a Brett Kavanaugh–inspired storyline, a domestic abuse situation, a trans child, Eleanor's career—and manages to resolve them all, in some cases a bit hastily.

Maynard creates a world rich and real enough to hold the pain she fills it with.

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-239827-7

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 47

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

DEVOLUTION

Are we not men? We are—well, ask Bigfoot, as Brooks does in this delightful yarn, following on his bestseller World War Z (2006).

A zombie apocalypse is one thing. A volcanic eruption is quite another, for, as the journalist who does a framing voice-over narration for Brooks’ latest puts it, when Mount Rainier popped its cork, “it was the psychological aspect, the hyperbole-fueled hysteria that had ended up killing the most people.” Maybe, but the sasquatches whom the volcano displaced contributed to the statistics, too, if only out of self-defense. Brooks places the epicenter of the Bigfoot war in a high-tech hideaway populated by the kind of people you might find in a Jurassic Park franchise: the schmo who doesn’t know how to do much of anything but tries anyway, the well-intentioned bleeding heart, the know-it-all intellectual who turns out to know the wrong things, the immigrant with a tough backstory and an instinct for survival. Indeed, the novel does double duty as a survival manual, packed full of good advice—for instance, try not to get wounded, for “injury turns you from a giver to a taker. Taking up our resources, our time to care for you.” Brooks presents a case for making room for Bigfoot in the world while peppering his narrative with timely social criticism about bad behavior on the human side of the conflict: The explosion of Rainier might have been better forecast had the president not slashed the budget of the U.S. Geological Survey, leading to “immediate suspension of the National Volcano Early Warning System,” and there’s always someone around looking to monetize the natural disaster and the sasquatch-y onslaught that follows. Brooks is a pro at building suspense even if it plays out in some rather spectacularly yucky episodes, one involving a short spear that takes its name from “the sucking sound of pulling it out of the dead man’s heart and lungs.” Grossness aside, it puts you right there on the scene.

A tasty, if not always tasteful, tale of supernatural mayhem that fans of King and Crichton alike will enjoy.

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-2678-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Del Rey/Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Dirk Cussler carries on what his father started in a series that never gets old.

CLIVE CUSSLER'S THE DEVIL'S SEA

In the 26th of the lively Dirk Pitt Adventures, the family finds trouble on the high seas and in the high mountains.

Trouble comes looking for Dirk Pitt and his children, Dirk and Summer, in the strangest and most entertaining ways. (Mom is in Congress and misses all the fun.) Fans know that the elder Pitt is Director of NUMA, the National Underwater and Marine Agency, and that he’s not one to “sail a desk.” So they’re in the seas near the Philippines on a research project when they come across a sunken ship and the remnants of a Chinese rocket. The Chinese are upset that their secret Mach-25 rocket has failed once again. Then the area begins to get hit with unexplained tsunamis while Dirk Senior and his colleague Al Giordino explore the depths in Stingray, their submersible. The plot splits off when Dad asks son and daughter to fly to Taiwan to return a large stone antiquity they find in an aircraft that had disappeared in 1963. A Taiwanese museum official recognized it as the Nechung Idol from Tibet, so the siblings head to northern India. Dad rescues a woman from drowning and gets embroiled in a nasty conflict involving her father, a hijacked ship, and guys with guns and nefarious intentions. Meanwhile, young Dirk and Summer wind up in the Himalayas as they try to take the precious stone to the Dalai Lama. There, they try not to get themselves killed by bullets or hypothermia as they stay a step ahead of more villains who want the idol. The Pitts are all great characters—clever, gutsy, and lucky. When he and Giordino find themselves in a heck of a pickle in an area called The Devil’s Sea, Dad Pitt declares a great American truism: “Nothing’s impossible with a little duct tape.” And everything sticks together in the end—the tsunamis, the rocket, the idol. As with all the Dirk Pitt yarns, the action is fast and over-the-top, and the violence is only what’s needed to advance the story.

Dirk Cussler carries on what his father started in a series that never gets old.

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-41964-9

Page Count: 432

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more