PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewManawatu excels at enriching her characters and story lines with heartbreaking detail ... this layered work weaves a striking tapestry of fierce love and unflinching violence worthy of its poetic title ... These losses can get a bit muddy, and the book’s plotting veers dangerously close to melodrama in its chaotic final act, but Manawatu recovers with a moving finish to this devastating, beautifully written tale imbued with Maori culture and language.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewRoorbach draws a compelling portrait of Cindra and the other wayward teenagers — both too tough and too vulnerable for their own good. But Cindra’s constant attention to skin color threatens to undermine this otherwise authentic treatment of racial and cultural conflict in America. Still, fans of Roorbach’s prolific work will appreciate his signature lyricism and sense of place, his sweeping narrative, humor and romance. New readers are walking into the hands of a skilled storyteller who’s not afraid to take on a big, messy tale of love, privilege and abuse.
PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... engaging ... If Bird-Wilson’s fragmented structure and prose can at times feel stiff, Ruby never disappoints with her big heart and outrageous sense of humor — and her resilient search for her own history. In the end, she finds a fleeting and imperfect version of the family she’s been searching for, and the reader can’t help wondering what her childhood could have been like.