There’s never anything predictable about stubbornly optimistic and protective Jess and her oddball kids, or the distracted Ed and his disjointed work-family relationships. It’s exactly that quality that makes this offbeat journey so satisfying, and Moyes’s irrepressible flaws-and-all characters so memorable.
J.K. Rowling, under her Galbraith pseudonym, again demonstrates her adroitness at crafting a classic fair-play whodunit in a contemporary setting, peopled with fully realized primary and secondary characters.
The area of Midtown Manhattan around Grand Central Terminal, with its host of landmark buildings, serves as the backdrop...The tour of Midtown, both above and below ground, is alone worth the price of admission.
Rachman is well aware that what he’s created could easily fall into something twee and goofy, and while The Rise & Fall Of Great Powers is quite funny in places, there’s a darkness at its core that keeps the book grounded.
Coincidence and luck figure significantly in the final outcome, but King excels in his disturbing portrait of Brady, a genuine monster in ordinary human form who gives new meaning to the phrase “the banality of evil.”
Writers like Slava, and like Fishman, have a responsibility to do justice to the beauty in the details, and Fishman achieves that handily here.
A novel that is both a lot of fun to read and has plenty of insight into the marital bond and the human condition.
...the distinction between belief and ritual, but if Ferris means to make a larger point about community, he doesn't fully pull it off. In the end, though, it's a problem that, if not minor, doesn't derail the book.
Gay has created a straightforward style and defiant voice that drive Mireille's recollections. Her captivity experience is suspenseful, immediate and at times mercilessly realistic.
This is a beautiful book, an astounding meditation on the paradoxes of fate, human relationships and nature. Fans of Doerr, rejoice: This might be his best book yet.
It’s the “then some” throughout the novel that may irk a reader intent on a breezy read — or a salad. Yet real life is full of asides and detours, complications and random encounters. Reichl manages to make these “side dishes” essential to her story in a way that turns a romance mystery into a satisfying repast.
...the reader’s sense of hope soon fades as it is overwhelmed by the layers and layers of smell and soliloquy permeating the pages of Cunningham’s novel.
Much of this collection offers portraits of lives or moments in lives, abrupt pauses, interruptions, where contradiction, contrast and loss are the reigning components. Characters’ dilemmas hinge on misunderstanding, secrecy and the general perplexity and mortification of being a human.
In its blunt method and clumsy misdirection, “The Confabulist” fails to nurture this interaction of minds — the only real magic there is.
This is one of Kennedy’s strongest collections. For Valentine’s Day though, stick to chocolates or flowers...
But this is just a quibble. “Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932” is a novel of great reach and power, a portrait of an entire era. Prose’s canvas is crowded with many characters, but they’re all well-delineated. She has a miraculous gift for imagining a foggy quay or a smoky cabaret...
...she uses this mourning to show us, again and again, just how proximate joy is to its antithesis...In this restorative, unforgettable collection, she allows that paradox to go both ways.
In a book of this scope, the narrative is inevitably top-heavy in spots, and the plot wears thin toward the end, but this is storytelling at its most seductive, a brash historical adventure.
A multifaceted cast of characters, a plot twist involving the legendary Romanovs, and plenty of sensual romance will keep readers riveted.
Simpson’s attempts to add a metafictional touch via Hector’s footnote comments feel half-finished, but overall her command of the story is rock-solid.