PositiveLibrary Journal...philosophical, poetic ... The Russian soul and its attendant angst are well explored in this short novel, as Aneliya and her father contemplate the significance of art.
RaveLibrary Journal... powerful ... Ferrell deftly portrays the girls’ captivity and their lives after gaining freedom and supplies backstory for each of them, all while keeping the pages turning to create a spellbinding story. Images, poem snippets, and lyrics from songs by Diana Ross, Prince, and Billy Ocean break up the haunting prose and clarify the fragmentary nature of the girls’ world ... This tale of pain and healing will keep readers fully engaged and discussion groups talking for a long time.
RaveLibrary Journal... entrancing ... this superbly crafted debut novel immerses readers in a story of family, love, and music from the first page. Brodie makes a point about the destructive force of drug abuse, and bears witness to unsavory business practices in the music industry. This book would make a wonderful movie; readers will long for an album of Jane’s songs to go with it.
RaveLibrary JournalGoing way beyond the typical sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll scenario, this story about performing duo Opal Jewel and Nev Charles, and the genre of pop culture music writing, is a deep plunge into their world ... The duo’s struggle for success is well-documented (the novel is structured as oral history, with a journalist interviewing the principal characters and their family, friends, and fans), but even more engaging and important are Opal’s thoughts and actions concerning politics, history, and race relations. She is a champion for people who have suffered discrimination, bullying, and marginalization, and she is fierce and sticks to her convictions, no matter the consequences to her career ... The characters seem so real that readers will find themselves searching the internet, hoping to find that Opal and Nev are actual people. Walton has penned a true wonder of a debut novel, bringing real events into her story. Walton has a true storytelling voice, and her writing is impeccable.
RaveLibrary JournalWith a shocking tragedy, the story truly takes off, as stereotypes crash down and Mamie and Jennie leave to find something valuable of their own ... Finely written and worth a second read, this novel would be a fantastic choice for book discussion groups. With complete faithfulness to the text, it could also make an excellent movie.
RaveLibrary JournalExceptionally beautiful writing is the hallmark of this well-crafted novel about Syrian immigrants in New York City ... Joukhadar conveys the protagonist’s gender confusion with such a sense of turmoil and angst that the reader can also become a bit confused, but overall this is a brilliant novel.
RaveLibrary JournalAfter finishing this cinematic novel, some readers will be compelled to start again at page one to discover how O’Connor pieces together his suspenseful, incredibly well-written narrative and to contemplate the artworks described.
Judith Schalansky, trans. By Jackie Smith
RaveLibrary Journal... stunning ... Schalansky illuminates these \'lost\' inventoried gems with thorough research and details, making us ponder their transitory quality. Her descriptive writing of nature and botanical subjects is particularly accomplished. Indexes of persons, images, and sources are included ... In her quest to find meaning for herself, Schalansky examines life and death in a work that will inspire many hours of talk for book discussion groups. Not to be read quickly but savored and contemplated.
RaveLibrary JournalExploring motherhood and personal relationships as well as the chaotic upheavals in revolutionary Tehran, this debut offers a powerful lead character in Aria. But its minor characters are just as memorable, with the narrative revealing how their circumstances have shaped their personalities. Highly recommended, especially for book groups.
RaveThe Library JournalIntroducing memorable characters as he chronicles Ahmad’s family and pathway from childhood to esteemed poet to risk-taking politician, Araghi unfolds a poignant story of love, loss, and social upheaval ... A highly recommended literary page-turner worth a second reading; fans of Gabriel García Márquez will delight in this fantastical—and fantastic novel.
Stefan Hertmans, Trans. by David McKay
RaveLibrary JournalUtterly spellbinding and brilliantly translated, this prize-worthy journey through time will pull readers in and won’t let go until the very last page. A great choice for discussion groups.
Karina Sainz Borgo, Trans. By Elizabeth Bryer
RaveLibrary Journal... emotions are vividly and realistically depicted ... Extremely well written, beautifully translated, and graphic enough to make the reader feel afraid of the knocking on the door, this debut novel offers a heartfelt, personal story told without sentimentality while offering keen insight into the everyday fight for survival in a place that is still very much a failed state.
Amanda Lee Koe
RaveLibrary JournalKoe’s flawless and enchanting writing draws readers directly into the lives and times of these women as well as the minor characters in this superb novel. Book discussion groups will enjoy devouring this fantastic debut.
RaveLibrary JournalIn this sequel to 198\'s Commonwealth Writers\' Prize-winning Nervous Conditions, which explored Tambudzai\'s childhood, Dangarembga writes with a graceful eloquence that keeps the pages turning quickly. One hopes...[another] book will continue the journey of this sympathetic character from an immensely talented author.