Thursday, July 28, 2016

The lady with the Borzoi : Blanche Knopf, literary tastemaker extraordinaire / Laura Claridge is very good/...

PW Reviews 2015 December #3
Blanche Knopf was a full partner in the esteemed publishing company Alfred A. Knopf (named for her husband) from its founding in 1915 until her death in 1966. The case made here by biographer Claridge (Emily Post) is that, of the two partners, Blanche led the more interesting life. Shortly after marrying, Blanche and Alfred settled into a somewhat distant relationship and lived apart much of the time. Their lives revolved around books, with Blanche's many prestigious acquisitions including works by multiple Nobel Prize winners, Khalil Gibran, Dashiell Hammett, Willa Cather, Sigmund Freud, and countless other prominent authors. Claridge recounts Blanche's struggles with depression, intense love of dogs, and affairs with other men. Blanche's marriage was often fraught, but her friendship with writers H.L. Mencken and Carl Van Vechten helped sustain her emotionally. Claridge's storytelling is mostly clear and linear, but she occasionally omits narrative transitions, which can cause confusion for the reader. However, she manages to synthesize an enormous amount of research and biographical information to paint a complete picture of a complex figure. Packed with interesting literary anecdotes, this biography reveals a powerful woman who played an integral role in 20th-century publishing. Agent: Carol Mann, Carol Mann Agency. (Apr.)
[Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Before We Met by Lucie Whitehouse,very good

Booklist Reviews 2013 December #2
Hannah Reilly waits at Heathrow to welcome her husband, Mark, home from a business trip. Only Mark never shows. Credit Whitehouse (The House at Midnight, 2009) for opening her latest novel with a crackerjack premise that will hook readers from the first page. Mark's reappearanceâ€"a lost cell phone and a last-minute client meeting explain away his absenceâ€"does little to relieve the tension, as seeds of doubt have been planted in Hannah's mind. Having watched her mother drive her father away with suspicions of cheating, Hannah has been almost willfully trusting of Mark, but the more she digs into her husband's business dealings and past, the more questions arise. Because Whitehouse has cleverly structured her work as a romantic thriller, with Mark presented as a classic leading man, she's able to pull off a red herring of a revelation that amps up the plot's suspense. She doesn't fully maintain her momentum as the novel gets caught up in exposition, but when Whitehouse sticks to the chase, this is a gripping cat-and-mouse read. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Keep You Close by Lucie Whitehouse,amazing

PW Reviews 2016 February #3
When Rowan Winter, the heroine of this nail-biting psychological thriller from Whitehouse (Before We Met), learns that prominent painter Marianne Glass has died after falling from the roof of her Oxford, England, house, Marianne refuses to believe that it was an accident. Rowan knows that Marianne, her best friend from childhood, suffered from extreme vertigo and would never willingly have stood anywhere near a roof's edge. Days later, Rowan receives a note from Marianne, postmarked the day before she died, that simply says, "I need to talk to you," breaking a silence of 10 years. After the two had a serious misunderstanding, Rowan left Oxford for London, but at Marianne's funeral she's forced to revisit the past. With bulldog tenacity, she delves into Marianne's personal and professional history, determined to unlock the mystery of what really happened to her friend. Whitehouse explores the many layers of Marianne's and Rowan's intertwined experiences in an emotionally satisfying read that builds to a thrilling climax. Agent: Claire Conrad, Janklow & Nesbit. (May)
[Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC