Reviews for Under currents : A novel

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Twenty years after leaving a home that was made a living hell by his father's abuse and his mother's compliance, Zane Walker returns to Lakeview, ostensibly to open his law practice, but more importantly to be closer to his sister, Britt, and his Aunt Emily. While Zane begins the process of reconciling with his past, he finds himself connecting with Darby McCray, who recently moved to Lakeview to launch her landscape-design business. However, as Darby and Zane begin exploring the possibility of a long-term relationship, a dark shadow from Zane's past threatens their future together. When it comes to depicting the horrific toll physical, verbal, and emotional abuse can have on a child, Roberts doesn't pull any punches, but she does counterbalance these gut-wrenching episodes with some examples of just how important a loving and nurturing home environment can be for a child (and an adult). Roberts goes on to skillfully weave into the plot the kind of domestic details her readers love, while presenting incisively etched characters, thus making for an impressive addition to her remarkable literary canon.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Roberts continues to wow readers, and this heartfelt tale will receive the usual star treatment with a hefty print run and lots of publicity.--John Charles Copyright 2019 Booklist


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Zane Bigelow and Darby McCray have something in common—broken noses received at the hands of their abusers. As a teenager, Zane survived a horrendous attack that ended with his mother and father behind bars, and young newlywed Darby's ex-husband went to prison after putting her in the hospital. Now living in a small lakeside town in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, they meet and fall in love. They are survivors, made stronger by their experiences but also because they have each other. Zane and Darby may have moved on, but their abusers have not, and with them out and looking for revenge, that strength will be put to the test. VERDICT Prolific and hugely popular author Roberts (Shelter in Place; Year One), who also writes as J.D. Robb ("In Death" series), combines complex characters with a vivid setting to create a real page-turner. Broken into four sections, each of which packs a punch, this contemporary fiction mixed with a bit of suspense is completely engaging. Expect wide appeal beyond the author's regular fanbase. [See Prepub Alert, 1/23/19.]—Vicki Briner, Broomfield, CO


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Roberts (Shelter in Place) cleverly blends the past into the present as abuse survivors discover the healing power of love. Zane Bigelow and his sister, Britt, grew up in the wealthy Lakeview Terrace development in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Their father, Graham, a prominent physician, physically abused them, abetted by his wife, Eliza. At 15, Zane stood up to his father and went to the police; Graham and Eliza were imprisoned. Years later, Darby McCray leaves the suburbs of Baltimore and her abusive husband to relocate to Lakeview and build her landscaping business there; Zane also returns to Lakeview from Raleigh and decides to set up a small private practice as an attorney. When Zane and Darby meet, sparks ignite. As she sells him on the amazing landscaping she can provide for his new home, he's drawn to her pure beauty and kind, friendly nature. Their relationship becomes more serious, and Darby becomes a beloved part of the community, but threats from the past come back to haunt Zane and his newfound happiness. Roberts's latest is full of powerful, magnetic characters who have overcome terrible situations. Suspense and sensual romance are expertly combined in this riveting story. Agent: Amy Berkower, Writers House. (July) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he's falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness."From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect." Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane's prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane's secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who's recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family's rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts' latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so "unnecessary details" can also charm and engage.Another success for the publishing phenom. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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