April and Oliver

April and Oliver

3.7 174
by Tess Callahan
     
 

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Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the… See more details below

Overview

Best friends since childhood, the sexual tension between April and Oliver has always been palpable. Years after being completely inseparable, they become strangers, but the wildly different paths of their lives cross once again with the sudden death of April's brother. Oliver, the responsible, newly engaged law student finds himself drawn more than ever to the reckless, mystifying April - and cracks begin to appear in his carefully constructed life. Even as Oliver attempts to "save" his childhood friend from her grief, her menacing boyfriend and herself, it soon becomes apparent that Oliver has some secrets of his own--secrets he hasn't shared with anyone, even his fiancé. But April knows, and her reappearance in his life derails him. Is it really April's life that is unraveling, or is it his own? The answer awaits at the end of a downward spiral...towards salvation.

Editorial Reviews

Carrie Brown
Tess Callahan's first novel, April & Oliver, offers up young lovers who are all bad timing and botched encounters and smoldering passion.… In trying to persuade us of the caliber of this couple's response to each other, Callahan's prose is occasionally overwrought. … But Callahan wants the couple's attraction to be about more than sex. April and Oliver are also soul mates, and many readers will find their bumpy road compelling, a sensitive and emotional account of two people grappling with the complicated force of mutual attraction when it strikes the right people at the wrong time.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In this memorable debut, Callahan offers a uniquely funereal love story that focuses on a stagnant friendship-turned-untenable romance between unlikely life-long friends. To deal with the death of her immediate family, as well as the scars of childhood abuse, April assumes the role of the jaded wild child; Oliver, her once-inseparable childhood companion, has become her polar opposite, an engaged law student poised for success. Estranged during Oliver's college years, the two reconnect with troubling results. Callahan's descriptions are vivid, and often paired with charming flashbacks to more innocent times, providing stark contrast to the tumultuous course of April and Oliver's young-adult lives. Callahan's narrative takes some supporting-character detours from the principles' love-hate relationship, including an abusive boyfriend; a manipulative and dangerous family friend, and April's strong-but-slipping Nana. Callahan's poetic style and grasp of emotion gives proper weight to April's loss and Oliver's secrets, and is sure to engage, sadden, and enthrall readers, especially in a bittersweet, somewhat surprising finale.
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Library Journal

Troubled April and cautious Oliver, former childhood friends, find themselves reconnecting after the sudden, tragic death of April's teenage brother, Buddy. April, blaming herself for Buddy's death, becomes surrounded by Oliver's family as they lend comfort and support. Oliver, who previously dreamed of a music career, is now a law student engaged to be married and seems the polar opposite of reckless April. They were inseparable as children, always compelled to look after Buddy and each other, and now, as they battle their mutual attraction, life appears quite complicated and confusing. April is aware that she should avoid the many rough, abusive men she allows in her life; Oliver acknowledges that a wonderful future awaits him. The opening chapters of this emotional whirlpool of a debut novel are gripping, owing to Callahan's sharp, savvy storytelling. Callahan spins a dark, gritty tale of love, yearning, and choices while presenting engaging characters and substantial action that packs more than a few punches. Wise beyond words. [See Prepub Alert, LJ2/15/09.]
—Andrea Tarr

Kirkus Reviews
In a first novel suffused with grief and longing, childhood soul mates reconnect in the aftermath of a death. April, the daughter of a barkeep, never went to college. Now in her early 20s, she still works at bars in the Long Island community where she grew up (although the author assures readers that she secretly devours intellectually hefty books). When her beloved younger brother dies in an accident while driving her car, she is devastated by the double whammy of grief and self-recrimination. Attending the funeral is her childhood companion Oliver. April has always been a blue-collar damaged soul; Oliver, a former musical prodigy who turned down Juilliard for Stanford, is all bourgeois sensitivity. Although they eventually learned their fathers were stepbrothers, not blood relations, April and Oliver have always thought of each other as first cousins and repressed their mutual attraction. Instead, she has had a string of inappropriate lovers, most recently T.J., against whom she's brought then revoked a restraining order. Meanwhile Oliver, now a law student at Columbia, has returned home with a fiancee, Bernadette, a perfectly nice woman who quickly recognizes the dangerous chemistry between April and Oliver. April grieves, cares for her grandmother and dallies with the scary but intriguing T.J. while Oliver tries to keep away from her but can't. When April is mugged, T.J. kills the assailant and then drowns himself. Increasingly threatened by April's hold on Oliver, Bernadette lays down an ultimatum, and Oliver promises not to talk to April privately again. But on their wedding day, Bernadette sees Oliver's attention stray toward April and finally calls it quits. Oliver heads toIreland to clear his head, and April starts college, their bond silently intact. A portentous surfeit of sensitivity and smoldering overwhelms Callahan's genuine gifts of language and storytelling. Agent: Anne Edelstein/Anne Edelstein Literary Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446552073
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
06/03/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
337,405
File size:
1 MB

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