Makkai’s (The Borrower) second novel is a lively and clever story starring an estate with an intricate history...The book is exceptionally well constructed, with engaging characters busy reinventing themselves throughout, and delightful twists that surprise and satisfy.
The mystery is why Seiffert doesn’t make more of this contemporary aspect of her novel. Jozef is given his own story, one that perhaps too neatly echoes Graham’s (he is also suffering from marital woes), but it is frustratingly thin. It is as though Seiffert can’t quite find enough room for that strand of her narrative.
The chapters alternate between Cal’s point of view and Frida’s and are heavy on flashbacks that bog down an otherwise tense narrative of survival. This has the bones of an excellent book, but, sadly, an untenable amount of flab is covering them.
“The Great Glass Sea” is not an alternative history, then, but a fantastical vision inspired by bits and pieces of Russian language, history and culture. It is beautifully baffled by the mysterious Russian soul.
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.
Gould nails the complex blend of love, loyalty, and resentment that binds female friends. It is worth reading for the richness of its details...and it offers new insight into the experience of young women.
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.
There are moments of dark musicality, and Eggers’s concern with the abuse of power is resonant. But the novel is hollowed out by its main character’s mixture of apocalyptic gloom and repetitive pedantry.
Owen’s sentence-by-sentence prose is extraordinarily polished—a noteworthy feat for a 500-page debut—and she packs many surprises into her tale, making it a book for readers to lose themselves in.
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.
As always, Furst is a master of atmosphere, re-creating those prewar days so vividly we can almost imagine that we, like the characters, operate in the dark at midnight, unaware of what happens next...
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.
...without spoiling the fun of reading this excellent addition to King's growing list of mystery-thriller titles, there's even a small hint that the Mr. Mercedes show may go on — a scary thought indeed.
The story of Mayor and Maribel is interrupted by soliloquies from Ms. Henríquez’s chorus of immigrants...Too often, however, they feel like unnecessary distractions from the story of the Rivera and Toro families, which by themselves encapsulate both the promises and perils of the American dream.
By the end, which features some difficult, realistic, and earned resolutions, readers will be amazed at this deeply felt, vivid novel.
As Jeremiah Pearl says: “A man comes to your house to give you something — a service, a good, a belief — you best set him back on his way.” If that man comes offering this trenchant and vigorously empathetic novel, however — best thank him.
Slava’s romantic and professional reckonings in the closing pages are inevitable, but Fishman thoughtfully raises questions of what Holocaust-era suffering is deserving of recompense. A smart first novel that’s unafraid to find humor in atrocity.
While the love triangle sections do turn pages...King’s immersive prose takes center stage. The fascinating descriptions of tribal customs and rituals, paired with snippets of Nell’s journals...all contribute to a thrilling read that, at its end, does indeed feel like “the briefest, purest euphoria.”
...The Vacationers really is perfect summer reading: a beautifully written story that’s neither too depressing nor too charming, one that contains all the aching emptiness of wanting children or sex or companionship. It’s like sitting on a perfect sandy beach and knowing there’s jellyfish in the water, waiting to sting.
...I am sure it will be seen on beaches both at home and abroad this summer. But I imagine that it will be left on them afterwards.