RaveRumpusThe subtle ways authority warps individual autonomy is central to Lucie Elven’s debut novel The Weak Spot ... Elven’s prose has a hidden, still-waters-run-deep quality, spare and reminiscent of fable, yet the story itself is grounded in concrete human situations. The narrative is slow-building, unsettling in the best way, but Elven’s sentences are swift and punctured with wonderfully odd phrasing, dry humor, and elegant insights ... A reader looking for a traditional character arc with a confident narrator that takes them by the arm and tromps them through the story may be somewhat disappointed. The Weak Spot is more interested in the invisible forces that guide our ways of being in the world ... Elven shows the slipperiness of self and narrative—how easily we buy into other people’s stories, how many of us choose to live inside another person’s destructive narrative rather than forging a path for ourselves.
PositiveThe RumpusCain’s magic act is her ability to write the interior life without tumbling into the traps of isolation, solipsism, or spiraling self-obsession. Instead, Cain writes into the expansiveness of the narrator’s thought processes, not in isolation but in concert with her surrounding environment ... Where naming a specific year and setting might help ground readers in a narrative, the purposeful ambiguity of Indelicacy creates an eerie unmoored effect. Vitória, like the art she describes, exists both in and out of time ... Introspective, poetic, and full of longing, this passage is reminiscent of another Künstlerroman, Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse ... Indelicacy is a hopeful story, told hauntingly.