RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewIn many ways, Send for Me is indeed an anthropological excavation; its preoccupations are many and sometimes diffuse but it is haunted throughout by the endlessly fascinating question of inheritance. How much of our stories — and which parts — truly belong to us? ... the book is a real achievement — beautifully written, deeply felt, tender and thoughtful ... Fox’s prose is rhythmic and gorgeous, and the portrait she paints of Annelise’s life — and all she comes to lose — is richly textured ... The storytelling is patient, generous, at moments even languid ... vivid depiction of a family’s heartbreak, its rending and rebuilding.
J. Courtney Sullivan
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewAt the heart of Friends and Strangers is the complex dynamic that’s familiar to anyone who has been on either the providing or receiving end of professional child care. But drawn by Sullivan’s deft hand, the relationship feels authentic and richly textured ... The novel branches off in myriad directions, some more fruitful than others ... Elisabeth’s voice takes over the narrative, and is so consistently, monotonically disdainful that one wishes less time could be devoted to these extraneous stories and more to the endlessly complicated—and ultimately doomed—relationship between her and Sam, which is ripe with unexplored fodder ... Sam’s plight is the most fully realized and the most compelling ... Sam takes us along for an intriguing ride, showing what it’s like to inhabit someone else’s space and care for someone else’s child, to be pulled by the siren song of other people’s lives—their trappings ... it’s in these quiet, humanizing scenes, rather than in the exploration of broader existential questions or class dynamics, that Sullivan’s novel comes to life. Friends and Strangers is a big novel with big ideas. Sullivan sets out to cover a lot of terrain, from systemic inequality and the true definition of privilege to the bizarre social doctrine of dorm life and the politics of suburban book clubs. But where this novel shines brightest is in her patchwork of spot on minutiae, her honest rendering of what happens behind closed doors.