RaveThe New York Times Book Review...the most exceptional book about grief I’ve ever read. In prose that’s immaculately unsentimental and raggedly intimate, Deraniyagala takes us deep into her unfathomable loss ... That she allows us to experience that same alertness without smothering us in sorrow is the miracle of this beautiful book. I was thunderstruck by Deraniyagala’s loss, yes, but most of all by her ability to reveal the whole \'outlandish truth\' of her grief ... She has fearlessly delivered on memoir’s greatest promise: to tell it like it is, no matter the cost. The result is an unforgettable book that isn’t only as unsparing as they come, but also defiantly flooded with light.
RaveThe Oregonian\"Willy Vlautin writes novels about people all alone in the wind. His prose is direct and complex in its simplicity, and his stories are sturdy and bighearted and full of lives so shattered they shimmer. All of his novels are good, but Lean on Pete is his best ... His prose is strong, his storytelling is honest, and he sticks to it scene by scene. By the time Lean on Pete reaches its sweet but unsentimental end, Charley Thompson isn\'t a character in a novel, but a boy readers have come to love. Lean on Pete riveted me. Reading it, I was heartbroken and moved; enthralled and convinced. This is serious American literature.\
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewWith a depth of perception that’s both affectionate and insightful, Ford tells the stories of his parents’ lives and deaths by turn ... It’s through this innate desire to know, paired with Ford’s exceptional abilities as a prose craftsman, that these two ordinary people are made vital and vivid to us on the page. His depictions and examinations of his parents before and after he was born — their mannerisms and bearings, their wounds and silences, their squabbles and pleasures — offer a master class in character development and narrative economy ... There’s a vulnerability that I’ve not observed in Ford’s work before, a tender surrender to the search. What makes this book so moving is, in part, Ford’s glorious engagement with the unknowable that we, paradoxically, come to memoir for — it’s only in fiction, after all, that a writer has the luxury of omniscience, of being the god of the who, how, when, where, what and why.