RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewAs these fragmented narratives elegantly graze each other without ever clicking into a fully formed picture, the two women’s lives are marked by suicide, foreclosures, menial labor, social immobility and overarching sadness ... [Medel\'s] poetic sensibility is evident in rhythmic, incantatory prose ably translated by Lizzie Davis and Thomas Bunstead, yet she also looks at the world through a good novelist’s magnifying glass ... This observation, like so many in The Wonders, derives its sense of wonder (a very wry, often downcast sense of wonder) not from lofty transcendence, but from the way the tiniest details of our lives are shaped by the realities of money. Yet as we are taken into María’s and Alicia’s histories, Medel probes deeper than mere economics ... not a loud, fizzy debut, and this is one of its strengths. It is a vivid and painfully intimate account of two easily overlooked lives. Medel paints a gray world of drudgery and solitude, yet she also makes room for her characters to grow into their power as women, a power they discover does not in fact lie in money.
PositiveThe Los Angeles Review of Books... as much about human nature as it is about a little-known corner of the food industry. In the guise of a crisply written and engaging story about a rare, astronomically priced delicacy, Jacobs has produced a contemporary morality tale about capitalism and consumerism. While he exposes the underbelly of the truffle industry, he reminds us that consumers themselves drive it. If we are what we eat, then we best not let our voracious appetites devour our better values.