Synopses & Reviews
The disparate lives of two women—a single mother working hard to make ends meet and a young figure skater at the top of her game—entwine in an unforgettable novel of warmth, depth, and wisdom.
Izzy and her daughter, Quinn, have been on the move for all of Quinn’s nine years. Izzy works the fields as a fruit picker, following the produce north and south through the growing season. When they reach a struggling pear orchard in the Sacramento River Delta, Izzy intends it to be just another way station in their nomadic lives. But the orchard and its kindly owners capture Quinn’s heart, and Izzy briefly forgets that she’s running from a past that still haunts her—until a strange incident brings national media attention to the Delta.
Seemingly a world away, Karen is a rising young star in figure skating with an edgy, daring new partner. Nathan is everything her old teammate wasn’t: sexy, dangerous, and extremely headstrong. As Karen nears her eighteenth birthday, the partners find themselves on the world stage—and the simmering intensity between them finally erupts.
As each woman struggles with a sudden thrust into the spotlight, their narratives become more intertwined—until Izzy’s past and Karen’s future finally collide.
"Brandeis's heartwarming but forgettable newest follows two women, different as night and day, pursuing separate fortunes that eventually collide. Izzy and her nine-year-old daughter, Quinn, roam the country as migrant fruit pickers, constantly running from something that Izzy can never articulate. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, an up-and-coming 17-year-old figure skater named Karen finds herself falling for her new skating partner, the charismatic Nathan, while skirting ever closer to her Olympic dreams. Once Izzy and Quinn land in a Sacramento, Calif., delta town where they can settle down a bit, a pair of stranded whales draws the attention of the media, putting Izzy unwittingly in the spotlight--and causing her past to re-emerge, with far-reaching consequences for the unsuspecting Karen. Brandeis's latest effort is sweet but predictable; astute readers will quickly pick up on the twist uniting her twin stories and spend much of the book waiting for it to materialize. Tension within the plot lines, particularly between Karen and Nathan, is handled broadly and without exploring the stakes, giving readers little incentive to carry on. (July) Kostoff's disjointed noir thriller centers on the efforts of Ben Decovic, a former homicide detective in Ohio, to rebound from the death of his wife, gunned down in a shooting spree, by trying to solve a highprofile murder. Now a beat cop in Magnolia Beach, S.C., Ben insinuates himself into the search for the killer of Stanley Tedros, a soft-drink magnate whose signature product, Julep, had recently become a national hit. Unknown to Ben, the victim's nephew's avaricious wife, Corinne, who wanted Stanley to accept a lucrative offer to sell his company, hired the hit man involved. Ben ends up getting personally invested in the case when he starts sleeping with the daughter of a witness to the murder whose Alzheimer's prevented him from communicating what he saw. While Kostoff (The Long Fall) avoids a pat ending, his protagonist's lack of depth makes this a less than memorable read. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)