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.
The book’s energy, its wide reach and rich detail make it a confident example of the “unputdownable” novel.
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...
...it’s a major step up from his previous book, Doctor Sleep, and it’s unusual in its dedication to surprising readers who by this time may think they know King like the back of their hands.
Slava knows that to make his stories convincing he has to get the details right, and...he provides more than enough correct details and well crafted figurative turns of phrase to convince most readers to go along with him...
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.”
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 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.
Doerr captures the sights and sounds of wartime and focuses, refreshingly, on the innate goodness of his major characters.
This is an odd work, engaging in parts and shot through with stunning lyricism, yet testing in the problematic personalities it brings together.
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.
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.
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.
What is wrong with the style of these stories – a vagueness...a sparseness of physicality, a trapped interiority, a cerebral floating over the landscape as if few of the characters quite have their feet on the ground – is also what is right with them, what provides the collection its distinctive and identifiable voice.
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.
Given its subtitle—"A Nanny Writes Home"— I opened this book with misgivings. I don't find cute stories about child rearing particularly riveting (unless, of course, they're my own). But "Love, Nina" is enchanting. It's one of the funniest—and oddest—books I've read in a long time.
These nine stories from fiction and memoir author McCracken...excavate unexplored permutations of loss and grief...McCracken’s skewed perspectives make this a powerfully if quietly disturbing volume.