MixedSan Francisco Chronicle\"There’s a bemusing, sometimes frustrating randomness to the experience of reading straight through, a feeling not unlike catching glimpses of a city from a moving car. What’s that? Who’s that? What’s down that street? The correct attitude seems to be not to worry too much about the answers ... the knownness of celebrity provides useful context in a largely context-free book, and Kipen... also makes good use of literary novelists like William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Aldous Huxley ... Phantom plotlines appear and disappear... but individual narratives, however tantalizing, aren’t the point of this book. The point is accumulation.\
Grace Dane Mazur
MixedThe New York TimesSuch an abundance of characters is a bit of a crowd in a 212-page book, and Mazur takes an impressionistic approach to her narrative, flitting from one point of view to the next and cutting between short scenes ... Despite a few unexpected cross-family bonds forged over asparagus, Mazur’s affections and sympathies lie so clearly with the manic-pixie-dream-family Cohens that it’s difficult to resist rooting rebelliously for the Barlows, who deserve more credit ... Ultimately, The Garden Party is a mood piece, less concerned with the profoundly tricky merging of individuals and families than with the beguilements of summer and of love.
PanThe New RepublicTampa seems to belong to the literary-fiction-infused-with-sex, Rothian genre—a novel with titillating interludes but also a core idea: how much less disturbing we find relationships between grown women and young boys than those between men and underage girls...but Tampa’s challenge to that the double standard is not especially potent. Because its sexual content is both highly graphic and purposefully off-putting, it occupies uneasy, unresolved territory between erotica and satire … Unmitigated monstrosity is not the most incisive means of approaching the subject of female pedophilia. By making Celeste essentially inhuman, a satirical cartoon of a predator, Nutting avoids the tangled issues of power that lie beneath cultural norms for gender and sex. If Celeste were complicated beyond her fixation, the novel would be more erotic, more transgressive, and sharper in its commentary.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewInterweaving is the mechanism that propels this novel. Tight-linked chains of action and response, misapprehension and revelation are braided together into a narrative that may, at times, feel a little too tidy and, at others, a little too diffuse but, through Solomon’s strong prose and fleet pacing, consistently provides the essential pleasures of a good story well told ... There is an agreeably old-fashioned forthrightness to the way Solomon crafts those characters.