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.
Certainly on this evidence, The Cuckoo's Calling was a calling card for a series that has legs. With up to seven books planned for Cormoran Strike and Robin Ellacott – the same as the Potter canon – Galbraith obviously feels the same.
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.
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is itself a strange book that demands some patience on the part of a reader, particularly the patience to allow yourself to be mystified for long stretches. Its pleasures are almost architectural...
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.”
The only problem with this novel is that its covers are too close together. I wanted more of Slava, his bumpy love life, his venal grandfather, even Herr Barber.
...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.
This age-old tension between worldly self and inner self, cleverly tailored by Ferris to the Internet era, is not fully developed...It is as though Ferris's narrative, which begins so ambitiously, falls victim to the very cultural shallowness bemoaned by its protagonist...
This novel is not for the faint of heart, but it will reward the reader as it chronicles the buried strengths of a woman thrown into a situation that no one should ever have to endure.
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.
...Ruth Reichl's first novel, is about as subtle as a Ring Ding...This confection might play better with Young Adult readers.
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...
Though he doesn’t explore the spiritual implications of his protagonist’s strange vision as fully as Joshua Max Feldman did in his recent novel, “The Book of Jonah,” Michael Cunningham has produced a characteristically intelligent story about our search for meaning in an age that offers few signposts to guide us.
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.
Otherwise, this is a sure-footed and intelligently organised collection. It begins with an older couple planning their financial future...At its centre lies the title story, a grimly compelling account of an affair...Arranged as they are, these small pieces nevertheless encompass an extensive emotional territory.
...it's no knock on this novel to declare that it mostly reads as a good story and an ingenious excursion into the Parisian demimonde. Prose here concocts a bright confection — a light, but genuine pleasure.
It turns out that “Love, Nina” is indeed charming, but only in the best ways. It’s observant, funny, terse, at times a bit rude. It affords a glimpse into a rarefied London social and literary milieu. It’s an “Upstairs, Downstairs” or “Downton Abbey” of sorts...
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.
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.