RaveLibrary Journal... dazzling ... King is a master at conveying through subtle description the small, painful, bumbling moments of life and the awkwardness of human interactions. In the title story, a touching and quiet tale of hope and connection, a repressed bookseller, the single parent to a gregarious 12-year-old daughter, falls in love with his employee ... A series of beautifully written character studies brimming with insight into the human condition.
Chelsea G. Summers
RaveLibrary JournalPresented as a prison memoir, this tale is narrated by the funny and astute Dorothy Daniels, a food critic who just happens to be an unrepentant cannibalistic serial killer ... The psychopathic, darkly feminist antihero can be viewed as a big middle finger to the common practice of judging a female protagonist on her \'likability\' or \'relatability.\' ... You won’t soon forget Dorothy or her delicious insights, but fair warning: This book might turn you into a vegetarian, if you aren’t already. (Though as Dorothy herself acknowledges, \'It’s surprisingly easy to overcome moral qualms, if you give in to the appetite.\')
PositiveLibrary JournalSomber but hopeful, this work reveals truths about family dynamics, which are always messier and more complicated than unquestioned family lore.
Joyce Carol Oates
PositiveLibrary JournalA poetic meditation on psychological trauma and a complex and nuanced portrait of a grieving family.
PositiveLibrary JournalIn this persuasive novel, Thula is a powerful if ultimately doomed heroine, and Mbue makes it clear that Goliath will always defeat David in a postcolonial society ruled by greed, corruption, and untrammeled capitalism.
MixedLibrary JournalWe are reminded that human nature doesn’t change and that we tell the same stories over and over again in different settings with updated technologies, from the oral tradition to email exchanges. That these tales are still part of our cultural imagination speaks to their timelessness and enduring power ... Though some of the stories feel overly experimental and some retellings work better than others, this reenvisioning of Ovid’s immortal work offers passages of unforgettable beauty and much strength in the voices of women trying to become themselves.
MixedLibrary JournalNot all of Patchett’s characters...are fully developed or believable, perhaps because of the narrator’s own limited powers of observation ... Still, this is an affecting family drama that explores the powerful tug of nostalgia and the exclusionary force of shared resentments.
RaveLibrary JournalSpanning a century, two coasts, and two continents, this well-researched historical novel is moving and profound, laying bare the corrosive nature of secrets and regrets and the sadness of not living one\'s life to the fullest.
RaveLibrary JournalThe title refers to girls like Jo, chosen by the \'cool\' teacher for \'special attention\' and sexual grooming in an era before #MeToo. Struggling to find her place in an alien social hierarchy, Jo herself becomes an unwitting participant in an episode of group bullying directed against her socially awkward, opera-loving roommate ... Rendered in crystalline, matter-of-fact prose relating the narrator\'s own emotional numbness and distancing, this self-aware metanovel is well timed for our current political era. Walbert...packs a punch.