PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... pleasurably unexpected descriptions and touches of humor ... She makes herself very visible to the reader through steady reminders of artifice. In a chapter she titles \'The Digression,\' the narrator announces that the previous chapter has reminded her of the BICEP2, a telescope mounted on the South Pole: \'It strikes us as unfair that physicists are able to build a telescope like that and install it on earth, with its listening ear turned to space, but language theorists can’t do the same.\' If readers do not already see themselves in that \'us,\' these characters may exhaust rather than convert them. But for the rest of us, the novel is an ingenious pocket universe where time moves not just forward or even backward but in sideways leaps. Questions about the nature of reality are made poignant by the characters asking them: women struggling to understand who they are in the shadow of losses they can sense but not remember.
Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewAll three books share Bynum’s impressive control of language and a capacious sense of how much a story can do and contain ... Bynum is finely attuned to both sensory and emotional detail, especially in those moments when characters’ observations and feelings are more conflicted than they or the reader initially assumes ... The adjectives that readers often attach to Bynum’s work — \'enchanting,\' \'charming,\' \'precise\' — are accurate, but can give the impression that she specializes in dollhouse miniatures, masterfully crafted but bloodless. Her skills and her sensibility are deeper and darker than that.