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.
By page 400-plus, the reader is eager for a resolution, and it comes as a bit of a surprise, as it should. For my money, Rowling has mastered her new genre impressively.
The book’s energy, its wide reach and rich detail make it a confident example of the “unputdownable” novel.
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.
The scariest thing of all is to imagine King writing a happy children’s book. This isn’t it: It’s nicely dark, never predictable and altogether entertaining.
King is brilliant on the moral contradictions that propelled anthropological encounters with remote tribes — a volatile mix of liberal high-mindedness, stoicism, hubris and greed.
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.
Paul is an appealing—albeit self-involved—everyman, but Ferris’s effort to take on big topics...feels more like a set of thought experiments than an organic or character-driven story.
Gay avoids the pat outcome of a Disney tale and, in an emotional and unforeseen twist, does the Grimms one better. In this fable, the princess and a wicked witch relate to each other as real women do, and ultimately rescue each other.
This novel will be a piece of luck for anyone with a long plane journey or beach holiday ahead. It is such a page-turner, entirely absorbing: one of those books in which the talent of the storyteller surmounts stylistic inadequacies and ultimately defies one's better judgment.
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.
...this is not the novel of its time that Cunningham's political milieu suggests. But it's still an emotionally charged story, simply told, about four people who come to defy that term "middle age."
Now Galchen returns with “American Innovations,” a collection of 10 stories each of which is, in many respects, like her novel in miniature. Her formal and thematic concerns recur. One again finds bits of her biography, particularly the invocation of a dead father like Galchen’s. There are references to the physical sciences...
What follows is a time-shifting story of Houdini’s life and death that can’t seem to distinguish incredible fantasy from prosaic truth...to be fair, it is often hard to separate the two extremes...The Confabulist, for all its methodical sense of misdirection, doesn’t amaze.
This is one of Kennedy’s strongest collections. For Valentine’s Day though, stick to chocolates or flowers...
This, finally, is Prose’s subject here — the elastic, perhaps cubist, nature of historical “truth,” which, once recognized, frees us to — even forces us to — appreciate every story, line by wonderful line.
Thunderstruck is what we all are, by life and what it brings us: the good and the bad, the love and the suffering. That is the strength and surprise of these wonderful, moving tales.
Allende has clearly enjoyed providing rich elaborations that don't particularly advance the story . . . Each of her characters finds ’something different . . . the same may not be said of readers who enjoy Allende’s fiction.