PositiveThe Star Tribune... doesn\'t shy away from the devastation of COVID-19 — but it\'s simply the springboard, born of Picoult\'s enforced isolation, for a tale of self-discovery ... Picoult abandons her usual stylistic tricks — except for one big one — and it makes for a satisfying and thought-provoking narrative of a woman whose entire ecosystem has shifted. The truth of Diana\'s story is revealed in her heart-to-heart with her new young confidante.
MixedThe Star TribuneThere\'s lots of psychobabble laid on these (pretty normal, actually) kids, but the problems seem to lie mainly with the mothers whose friendships, nurtured since kindergarten roundup, might be reaching their expiration dates ... The solutions, with fresh starts all around, tie things up a little too neatly. But they do reinforce one of parenting\'s basic tenets: Don\'t sweat the small stuff — and it\'s all small stuff.
PositiveThe Star Tribune... a biting, oh-no-she-didn’t commentary on the age-old pressures of academia, amplified by modern-day social media. Lest you think the whole scenario seems over the top, look no further than the Hollywood-adjacent Operation Varsity Blues, a true story of helicopter parenting and over-compliant teachers gone horribly wrong. This book might be fiction, but you can bet it’s all happening right here in \'Liston Heights.\'... a biting, oh-no-she-didn’t commentary on the age-old pressures of academia, amplified by modern-day social media. Lest you think the whole scenario seems over the top, look no further than the Hollywood-adjacent Operation Varsity Blues, a true story of helicopter parenting and over-compliant teachers gone horribly wrong. This book might be fiction, but you can bet it’s all happening right here in \'Liston Heights.\'
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star Tribune... the Confession Club only forms the framework of this tale, serving as provocateur, comic relief, affirming Greek chorus ... you can bet the Confession Clubbers (whose presence, to be honest, sometimes feels intrusive) have their say ... You needn’t have read the previous Mason installments to savor The Confession Club, although your appreciation of the warm world Berg has created will deepen, Her language is gentle, her stories complex: simple outside and rich inside, like a pound cake from Iris’ kitchen.
MixedThe Star TribuneShirley Jackson meets Jordan Peele in this...page-turner ... There are hints of biblical violence and fissures in the time-space continuum, or maybe it’s just a fever dream. The short, pulse-pounding chapters keep the tension ratcheted up to 11, but darned if you ever really know what’s going on. Neither does Molly, who vacillates between murderous impulse and welcoming acceptance. To say The Need is a twisted version of every mother’s guilty fantasy is not so far a stretch.
PositiveMinneapolis Star Tribune\"Sometimes you just want a warm bath of a book. Night of Miracles, in which Elizabeth Berg revisits the Midwestern setting of her bestselling The Story of Arthur Truluv, all but serves you a cup of cocoa and tucks you into bed ... This is not a challenging book; there are no confusing timelines or complex characters or last-minute twists. But there is simple, lovely prose and a sense of yearning that is contagious and comforting. You can almost smell the cinnamon from Lucille’s home-based bakery, and what better antidote to the stressful world?\
MixedMinneapolis Star Tribune\"[The story\'s backwards telling] has the effect of peeling back the layers of the characters and their motivations... but it also contributes to a confusion that\'s perhaps reflective of such a traumatic incident ... Picoult has done her research (the afterword details the hundreds of interviews she conducted), and she treats the subject with admirable evenhandedness. Yet it\'s obvious where her sympathies lie. Will this turn off some of her loyal readers? More likely, some minds on both sides will be changed, or at least challenged, by Picoult\'s thoughtful prose.\
PositiveThe Minneapolis Star Tribune...it’s a conceit that only partly works. If this book were in actuality a record of a mother and son’s short, precious time together, it would never include ruminations on campaign strategy or the writer’s innermost thoughts (think: sex and revenge) about the boy’s father ... If you can get past the gimmick, however, a tender tale unfolds ... Grodstein, with poignancy and mordant humor helps us see and sympathize with a mother’s illogical desperation ... Grodstein has a fine touch, alternately sarcastic, perceptive and wistful.
PositiveThe Houston Chronicle... the commitment-phobe at the center of her 2004 debut, Reproduction Is the Flaw of Love.That title also could describe Grodstein's latest, Our Short History, in which she at last turns to the topic of motherhood ... Her response to this gut-wrenching diagnosis is to write a book to her son, Jacob, to be read when he's 18. The book she writes is the one you hold in your hand, and it's a conceit that only partly works ... If you can get past the gimmick, however, a tender tale unfolds ... But Grodstein, with poignancy and mordant humor helps us see and sympathize with a mother's illogical desperation ... Grodstein has a fine touch, alternately sarcastic, perceptive and wistful.