PositiveThe Boston GlobeSet in the fictional port city of Bonsecours, S.C., You’ll Never Know, Dear is filled with rich detail of time and place. One can almost feel the soft heat of the Low Country, with its camellia bushes, periwinkle, and thick blanket of mosquitoes ... A third of the way through You’ll Never Know, Dear, Ephron has introduced us to all the major players, and rather quickly, the basic direction of the story line seems fairly transparent. Marked by a notable absence of violence and danger, it’s never really nail-biting suspense. Even so, it’s quite the page-turner in its quiet way. An accessible, easy read that deftly integrates the mystery genre with women’s fiction, it’s made compelling by the depth and resonance of the relationships.
RaveThe Boston GlobeThe debut novel of the Egyptian-born memoirist and literary scholar Andre Aciman is a coming-of-age story focused not so much on sexual awakening as on a kind of sexual quickening and identity exploration unfurled through poetic ruminations on longing and obsession … Aciman deftly charts a burgeoning relationship that both parties want and fear. Elio's crush blooms quickly, while Oliver seems to toy with his affections, friendly and engaging one moment, indifferent, even hostile the next. But over the course of a short six weeks, a tentative friendship blossoms, and undercurrents of romantic fascination and compulsion gradually evolve into a brief, yet intensely shared intimacy.
RaveThe Boston Globe...the diary ends up telling us more about Nao and ultimately about Ruth herself, as she processes the 16-year-old girl’s experience ... This setup for A Tale for the Time Being, the new novel by Canadian-American writer Ruth Ozeki, allows for a fascinating multigenerational tapestry of long ago, recent past, and present. The work is fiction, but intriguingly self-referential...most of the writing resonates with an immediacy and rawness that is believable and touching ... The stack of letters tucked into the diary offer another dimension of time and reality ... Ozeki powerfully evokes Ruth’s present-day struggles, painting a vivid portrait of life on a sparsely populated island... But Nao’s diary becomes a lifeline to another time and place more vibrant than her own, offering a vehicle for transformation, with the experiences of the past serving as catalysts for the future.
RaveThe Boston Globe...a seductive page-turner that ripples with an undercurrent of suspense and is fueled by the foibles of the human heart ... Leavitt traces the loneliness, isolation, and forced dependence of Lucy’s circumstances as William, who gradually sours on the new school, becomes more and more controlling ... Though the novel unspools with the edge of a psychological thriller, read too quickly for plot and one might miss these nuanced moments of insight, which seed Leavitt’s prose like tips of crocuses pushing up through snow. Best to slow down and savor.
RaveThe Boston GlobeLiz Moore’s captivating new page-turner, The Unseen World, is a wry, gentle coming-of-age story and an intriguing glimpse into the development of artificial intelligence and virtual reality, both early on and as envisioned for the future. It is also an incisive, insightful, and compassionate examination of the complexities of family and identity ... powerfully touching yet provocative, challenging us to reconsider our relationship to technology and the digital devices that both distance and connect us to one another.
MixedThe Boston GlobeMaguire impressively channels Carroll’s penchant for humorous wordplay, literary nonsense, and logic games, though sometimes he overdoes the fancy and dialogue can get a bit tedious.