After a long hiatus, Karon (Light From Heaven, 2005, etc.) has returned with a novel that offers something for those who...

SOMEWHERE SAFE WITH SOMEBODY GOOD

Father Tim Kavanagh ponders the past and looks to the future in Mitford, his beloved North Carolina mountain town.

A few years into his retirement, following a trip to his hometown—where he discovered an unknown half brother—and a journey to Ireland, Father Tim and his wife, Cynthia, are back in Mitford, and he has to decide what to do with his future. Cynthia, a beloved author of children’s books, is always busy, but Father Tim is a bit at sea. A humble man who believes in the power of prayer, he knows God will provide. He turns down the bishop’s request that he return to his old parish after the incumbent admits to adultery and attempts suicide, but he does take on the job of running the village bookstore while the owner is on bed rest for a dangerous pregnancy. Dooley Barlowe, the young man he raised as his own, is well on his way to becoming a veterinarian after a dysfunctional childhood that left some of his scattered siblings still in need of help. Father Tim especially worries for Dooley’s brother Sammy, who seems lost and bitter. Father Tim lunches with old friends, continues to raise money for a children’s hospital, encourages Sammy’s interest in landscaping and fights to control the diabetes that caused his retirement. As he helps out the many friends and neighbors he has known for so many years, his path becomes clearer; as Christmas approaches, his heart is filled with joy despite the problems and doubts that beset them all.

After a long hiatus, Karon (Light From Heaven, 2005, etc.) has returned with a novel that offers something for those who believe and those who do not. All the beloved quirky characters are here, the past is neatly summarized and the future, full of hope.

Pub Date: Sept. 2, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-16744-7

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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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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