RaveThe Boston GlobeAs always, Lehane is terrific at finely drawn character sketches thrumming with both immediacy and humor. The kaleidoscope of portraits running through Small Mercies is by turns funny and chilling ... Small Mercies\' story turns just as insistently on a stream of resonant and varying perspectives, perceptibly changing the story’s progress and — echoing its title — slipping in, here and there, tiny but meaningful vestiges of hope.
RaveThe Boston Globe\"This revealing and clearly heartfelt memoir — a love letter to her father that doesn’t obscure the difficult and frustrating aspects of their relationship—works precisely because Gilman delivers a detailed portrait of her father, proverbial warts and all ... She certainly provides the rest of us with a daughter’s thoughtful and empathetic profile of her dad.\
PositiveBoston GlobeThis evocative — and, at times, gloriously messy — coming-of-age story tackles enormous contemporary topics and issues, including racism, cultural barriers, mental and emotional instability, growing-up pains, and debilitating loss. Luckily, Maame’s voice — her clear, sharp-eyed, detail-focused, honest voice — provides a consistent, compelling thread throughout the narrative ... Altogether Maame — thanks to Maame — is a thought-provoking and enjoyable debut.
RaveThe Boston Globe\"Zigman weaves incisive, revealing glimpses into Joyce and Lydia’s early family life, their shared childhood that included both benign and active neglect ... This is no pity party, however. Zigman is terrific at melding heartbreaking situations with humorous, evocative details without once veering off into saccharine sentimentality. The Mellishman sisters’ story is alive with vibrant details ... In a tale that’s partly about fraught and ruptured relationships, Zigman’s ability to elicit the transformative magic that happens when people find true connection with others makes these pages glow.\
PositiveBoston GlobeThe magic of movies, both dark and light, is at play here: Several of the book\'s characters have found success in Hollywood, while others are struggling with the weighty baggage of parents-as-industry-icons or carrying childhood terrors in their emotional makeup...Most chapters begin with excerpts from The Hollywood Reporter and other fan-and-film publications that traffic in breathless, gossipy items...Despite the darker undercurrents palpable throughout the novel—at a certain point those Hollywood Reporter excerpts are upstaged by breaking-news items from the Los Angeles Times—the narrative is enlivened by pleasurably distilled contemporary references from artist Peter Max, Kodak Instamatic cameras, and the Beatles\' concert at the Hollywood Bowl, to the days when smoking on planes was a given, fathers worked in advertising and mothers stayed home...Ultimately, the deadly-serious real-world tale that Bohjalian taps into—the horrifying outcomes of corruption-inducing power—is a not-so-gentle reminder that while you can\'t always stop the story, sometimes you can change it.
RaveThe Boston Globe[Attenberg\'s] distinctive, personable voice, which shines on social media and in her writing-focused newsletters, gets a full-on outing here, with intimate glimpses of her youth ... This is a book of journeys: she road-trips on book tour; she lives in Seattle, in Manhattan, in New Orleans; she goes to Portugal and Sicily and Hong Kong, and on family trips to the East coast. But the most tangible and pleasurable journey is the one in which she describes discovering her voice, her yearning for agency, and the myriad ways in which she achieves that desire ... That knowing humor flavors her memoir ... pretty much all the anecdotes involving her family — people for the most part so clearly warm and inquisitive, interested and committed — left me wanting more of their stories as well as more of hers ... a book about the making of writer in the best possible way — accessible, funny, illuminating. It’s a book about kindness and grief, joy and forgiveness, failures, challenges, mistakes, and hope. It’s also a terrific ode to good art and true friendship. \'\'Books are your love language,\'\' a friend tells Attenberg. Which, as far as I’m concerned, makes I Came All This Way to Meet You one hell of a terrific love letter.
RaveThe Boston GlobeIn between the alarming and escalating events in the present day, Lippman takes us on an immersive tour of Gerry’s lonely and confusing childhood...and Gerry’s failures and successes as a writer, a husband, and a lover. Part of what rises palpably to the narrative surface—in scenes from the past as well as the present—is a life-long adherence to a certain level of self-deception on Gerry’s part ... when events in the Baltimore penthouse take a more ominous turn, the novel pivots elegantly into an even darker—and darkly comic—crime novel. Lippman suffuses the book’s atmosphere with literary, cinematic and television touchstones ... Positively humming with the vibrancy of a slew of crime-fiction authors during a high-energy drinking session, Dream Girl shimmers with suspense, surprises, wry humor, and an ever-present stream of appreciations for the pleasures, frustrations, and oddities inherent in the life of a writer.
RaveThe Boston Globe... opens with its exhilarating eponymous piece, encompassing her heady childhood experiences of flying internationally as an unaccompanied minor as well as the giddy experience of executing a loop de loop in a light aircraft. Both perceptive and informative, that essay sets the tone for the rest of this collection, in which Forna delves into a dynamic tapestry of resonant topics: the various elements that she explores in her fiction — migration, war and its aftermath, familial love, friendship, curiosity, resilience — are equally present in her nonfiction ... Forna retains a lightness of touch and depth of insight in her writing, alongside perceptible senses of both self-awareness and humor ... New essays and previously published ones — part of Forna’s work over the past decade — nestle easily and complementarily together here, offering a revealing glimpse into the author’s peripatetic life, commitment to family and community, and deep appreciation for life’s oddities, quirks, and moments of human compassion ... Forna’s perspective covers the salient, often momentous details, as well as a larger picture of the world and of her place in it ... Forna has a clear aptitude for being at home wherever she lands ... Forna’s compassionate streak, her interest in what humanizes us, is apparent throughout ... Forna has a fine command over both language and life — her sense of agency is pleasurably palpable — and her vivid, keenly observed anecdotes make her tendency toward hope all the more reassuring ... evocative, provocative.
RaveThe Boston Globe... exhilarating, maddening, thoroughly entertaining ... In a book full of narratives, some more imaginative and convoluted than others, often conflicting, sometimes heart-breaking, Vida holds her own narrative steady with Eulabee’s distinct voice. While she’s got some all-too-human blind spots, Eulabee is pretty clued-in and clear-eyed about others’ actions, and her unusual sense of humor comes hand-in-hand with a healthy dose of scepticism, particularly when it comes to adults’ foibles and faults. (She’s downright funny too) ... With its tangible, tactile details peppered throughout and super-smart, quirky Eulabee at its helm, We Run the Tides is deceptively sweet — and as addictive as candy.
RaveThe Boston Globe... luminous ... Livesey’s language is crystalline-clear and immersive, replete with vibrant imagery and echoes that play particularly effectively in her portrayal of Duncan, whose vivid imagination stymies him during class ... Ultimately what keeps Livesey’s novel aloft is that it is full of kindnesses ... Like so many other moments in this novel, that description nails the moment, the character, and the elemental aspect of the book in one fell, satisfactory swoop.
PositiveThe Boston GlobeIf Separation Anxiety has ineluctable threads of grief running through it, it also imparts a life-affirming vigor. This is partly thanks to Glenn’s wise, cut-to-the-chase ways, but also because Judy is a natural comedian and Zigman has gifted her with a fiercely singular voice ... If the book nails life’s more challenging moments, it also captures an astonishing level of empathy.
PositiveThe Seattle Review of BooksGardiner’s latest is yet another terrific – and terrifying – chapter in her UNSUB (unknown subject) series, currently being developed by Amazon Studios for our small-screen delectation.
RaveThe Boston GlobeGibson brings contemporary San Francisco, future London, and their inhabitants to tangible life ... As people in two different time zones work together to save at least one future, we glimpse the human experiment through Gibson’s unerring gaze ... Gibson’s brief chapters with their brusque headings match the urgency of the novel’s action — there’s no time to lose, no time to waste. A semi-sequel to 2015’s The Peripheral,Agency stands on its own, too — as well it should, given the title — as an immersive thriller, fueled by an intelligent, empathetic imagination.
RaveThe Boston Globe... lavishly laced with references to disappearances and vanishings, from the image of Amelia Earhart on the wall of Georgie’s dorm room, to the oft-told tale of Agatha Christie squirreling herself from sight when her husband told her he had fallen for another woman ... positively reverberates with echoes of deceit, both purposeful and self-inflicted ... emulates a nigh-on perfect slow burn, generating a pace that makes room for unexpected tragedies as well as silly student antics, drawing out multiple threads of deceptions and lies and a nearly unending river of narrative twists. As Jess, Georgie, Nick, and Alec immerse themselves in their growing friendships, their star-crossed love affairs, and explosive emotional fallouts, Weinberg reveals that she has more than a few tricks of her own up her authorial sleeve ... is also generously peppered with lively and evocative details ... The primary characters are so acutely drawn that, even those with the most irritating traits become intriguing enough to spend time with, and Weinberg brings otherworldly landscape of East Anglia to beautifully bleak and eerie life ... a stark reminder that storytelling, so often considered a magical form of communication, can just as easily represent a far less positive departure from the truth.
RaveThe Independent (UK)Cheryl Strayed\'s Wildis nothing if not visceral: from the harrowing scene in which she and her brother have to put down a horse, to the state of Strayed\'s feet when mutilated by too-small boots, her in-your-face narration is completely immersive; a dynamic reading sensation that belies the fact that these events are two decades old ... It is thanks to Strayed\'s cogent, generous voice that Wild retains its direction, never losing itself in murky personal-growth territory.
PositiveThe Seattle Review of BooksA motley cast of colorful characters — including a hallucination-inducing jellyfish and a surprisingly non-carnivorous shark – and Stone’s super-snarky observations, gift Wright’s third novel with substance, entertainment, and chills-a-plenty.
RaveThe Boston GlobeThe case of murdered model Lula Landry, chronicled in 2013’s The Cuckoo’s Calling, raised Strike onto a level of fame, though things have calmed down somewhat, and ‘[s]trangers were once again doing what they had done most of his life: calling him some variation on ‘Cameron Strick.’ ’ Luckily, the glut of work flowing his way hasn’t slowed … Rowling weaves a pleasurably wicked literary murder mystery with all its attendant aspects of publishing politics, from the peevish to the pompous, into Strike’s personal and professional lives … While the gruesome mystery is both unnerving and good fun, the subtle but unmistakable heft in this book comes from the fact that we get more — though, tellingly enough, not all — of the regular characters’ back stories, quirks, and foibles.
RaveThe Boston GlobePart-Mission: Impossible, part-Ocean’s Eleven, part-Die Hard, part-To Catch a Thief — and containing winks to all four — The Last Hack delves into industrial espionage and hacking culture, demonstrates some seriously impressive social engineering at work, and fiercely embraces those old-fashioned qualities of loyalty and unconditional love. A highly entertaining writer — his books have won awards for their comic as well their crime-fiction elements — Brookmyre is tenacious when it comes to exploring the most cynical aspects of his characters while peppering his writing with amusing and spot-on details.
RaveEntertainment WeeklyIn Zadie Smith’s marvel of a debut novel, White Teeth, London’s cultural melting pot festers and thrives as the millennium — or possibly the apocalypse — approaches … Smith’s ear is sharply tuned to the playful possibilities of language … Reminiscent of both Salman Rushdie and John Irving, Teeth is a comic, canny, sprawling tale, adeptly held together by Smith’s literary sleight of hand.
PositiveThe Boston GlobeThe novel’s searing take on contemporary Cork is elegantly leavened by empathy and humor ... Lacing her prose with tactilely tart phrases McInerney keeps the tale’s momentum fizzing and bubbling along with sharp-as-spears digs at the accepted levels of injustice permeating her characters’ lives on a daily basis ... The Glorious Heresies is no fairy tale, but McInerney’s characters are vibrantly-drawn, richly-rendered, and wonderfully full of surprises.
RaveThe Boston GlobeReviewing Etgar Keret’s new volume of mini-memoirs poses something of a pleasant conundrum: What can you add to the reading world when you’ve just turned the final page of a book in which a writer has managed to say so much, so movingly, so concisely, and so entertainingly? ... The delightful reality is that Keret brings the same surreal edge and black-as-pitch humor to these nonfictional musings as he does to his short stories. Even their shape — small, perfectly-formed — mirrors the feel of his fiction.
RaveThe Boston GlobeWith a writer-magician’s deft hand, Macdonald weaves the highly specific worlds of historical and contemporary falconry seamlessly together with a haunting memoir of mourning ... Assured, honest and raw — she manages to keep her grief at bay until she doesn’t — Macdonald’s book is full of poetry, ranging from unfettered elemental grief, frustration, and rage, to pinnacles of liberating exhilaration. Much like Macdonald’s description of Mabel, H Is for Hawk is a soaring wonder of a book, 'a thing of perfect triumph.'”