PositiveThe Newton Review of BooksShafak tells a story that brings its rich and troubled history vividly to life ... This is an unusual book, original in its structure and held together by a range of likeable characters. Shafak writes of what she knows and what she loves.
PositiveThe Newtown Review of Books (AUS)It is characteristic of Wolitzer’s warmth and perception that we understand the feelings of both women in this [title] story, and she captures the narrator’s own confusion, helplessness and distress ... Her stories are recognisably of the time they were written, yet they are timeless. She captures the extraordinary aspects of life in the daily routines we take as ordinary, and her strong-minded characters are realistic in their frankness about sex, their optimism and their humour ... for those who are not already familiar with her work, this collection of her stories is a fine introduction to it.
Kikuko Tsumura, trans. by Polly Barton
PositiveNewtown Review of Books (AUS)Kikuko Tsumura is clearly as inventive as her heroine ... Kikuko Tsumura has won awards for her short story writing, and this is her first novel to be translated into English. It is like a linked series of short stories with an interesting Japanese flavour, and her translator, Polly Barton, has done an excellent job, making the text fluent and easy to read without losing its unique character.
RaveThe Newtown Review of Books (AUS)Stuart Turton is a good storyteller. When the mysteries were finally unravelled, I was disappointed – not so much by the implausible solutions but by fact that the story had come to an end. It had all been good, easy reading and devilishly puzzling fun.
PositiveThe Newton Review of BooksAnn Patchett is too good a storyteller not to give her characters psychological complexities that make their decisions, actions, judgements and mistakes fully human ... This may be a modern-day fairytale for adults but it is full of Patchett’s understanding of the complexities of family relationships and family loyalties. Danny’s wife and children, his parents, and the former servants, Fluffy, Sandy and Jocelyn, all play their parts as the story unfolds and dramatic events reveal the very different nature of each of them. All of which makes for an absorbing and satisfying story.
PositiveThe Newtown Review of BooksThe pleasure of much of this book is the friendly tone of the exchanges between the early directors and shareholders of the firm, and the eloquence with which they express themselves. There are humorous exchanges, frank opinions and, sometimes, jokes ... The letters in the last part of the book reflect something of this loss of close family connections and there is less of the relaxed communication between editors and directors evident in earlier letters. Toby Faber, however, is an eloquent storyteller, and his hope that the book ‘will evoke a sense of fun: both the fun that people (in general) had and (generally) still have while working at Faber’ is well fulfilled.