Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Bear Necessity

 

A delightful story about a grieving British father and his young son who refuses to speak and how they learn to communicate with each other through a dancing panda bear.

 

British-born author James Gould-Bourn bursts onto the U.S. literary scene with a charming, deeply comforting story about a father and son entrenched in grief.

 

After a car accident claimed the life of Danny Malooley's beloved wife--and mother to their son, Will--father and son grapple with their loss, trying to shore up their shattered world. Matters hit rock bottom when Danny suddenly loses his construction job and cannot pay the bills. But worst of all is the fact that 11-year-old Will has refused to speak to anyone--including his dad--since his mother's death.

 

Depressed, destitute and desperate, Danny ambles through a park one day and spots street performers entertaining passersby and raking in money. This proves a moment of enlightenment as he decides, on a lark, to join their ranks. Barreling through a host of amusing complications, he secures an old panda bear suit and sets off to earn some money covertly.

 

Meanwhile, Will struggles with his lingering silence and being taunted by older kids at school. When the boy is bullied in the park one day, a goofy-looking, dancing panda performer unexpectedly comes to his rescue.


Heartfelt themes and wit further elevate charming plot twists and a well-tuned cast of quirky, supporting characters who prove that the spirit of friendship can build bridges to greater understanding and brighter days. Gould-Bourn is a perceptive writer who has crafted a moving, sensitive story that is also very funny. Bear Necessity is a perfect literary antidote to anxious, troubled times.

Bear Necessity: A Novel by Jason Gould Bourn

Scribner, $26.00 Hardcover, 9781982128296, 320 pages

Publication Date: August 4, 2020

To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE

 

NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (August 7, 2020), link HERE

 

To read the longer form of this review as published on Shelf Awareness for the Book Trade (July 14, 2020), link HERE

 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Paris is Always a Good Idea

 

A fun, adventurous story about a 30-something workaholic who takes a sabbatical to rekindle a happier, romance-filled time in her life. 

Prolific author Jenn McKinlay (Buried to the Brim) departs from her long-running series and delivers a fun, feel-good, stand-alone novel that will delight readers. Paris Is Always a Good Idea, a bittersweet story, focuses on a disillusioned woman in her 30s who sets off on an exciting worldwide adventure.

 

After college, Chelsea Martin goes through seven years of struggle. Her beloved mother dies, and grief-stricken Chelsea buries herself in work, becoming a corporate fund-raising star for a prominent cancer coalition in Boston. When her "buttoned-down" mathematician father, a widower, proposes to a woman he's known for only two weeks, Chelsea suddenly takes stock of her own life, wondering why she isn't happy or in a fulfilling romantic relationship of her own.

 

Chelsea decides, on a lark, to return to a time in her life when she believed she was happy and carefree--full of love and joy, hope and promise. Taking a much-needed sabbatical from her successful career, she winds her way through Europe to try to recapture the spirit of the woman she once was--retracing a route she traveled after college. She seeks out and revisits old flames, starting in a quaint, small town in Ireland; returning to the glittering lights of romantic Paris; then on to a vineyard tucked into the rolling hills of Tuscany. By reuniting with lovable old beaus in the hope of rekindling romance in each picturesque locale, Chelsea learns much about herself and what she truly wants from life.

 

Readers will savor the feisty, adventurous journey of McKinlay's self-deprecating protagonist as she re-examines her past in order to chart her future.


Paris is Always a Good Idea: A Novel by Jenn McKinlay

Berkley, $16.00 Paperback, 9780593101353, 352 pages

Publication Date: July 21, 2020

To order this book on INDIEBOUND, link HERE

 

NOTE: This review is a reprint and is being posted with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (July 24, 2020), link HERE

 

To read the longer form of this review as published on Shelf Awareness for the Book Trade (June 26, 2020), link HERE