RaveThe Boston Globe... yet another stunning achievement ... In spare, no-nonsense, conversational language, Lucy addresses the reader as an intimate confidante ... all her characters are complicated, neither good nor bad but beautifully explored and so real in their humanness ... Strout’s simple declarative sentences contain continents. Who is better at conveying loneliness, the inability to communicate, to say the deep important things? Who better to illustrate the legacies of imperfect upbringings, of inadequate parents? When William explains that what attracted him to Lucy was her sense of joy, the reader can only agree. This brilliant, compelling, tender novel is—quite simply—a joy.
RaveThe Boston Globe... [a] charming, funny, touching, and relevant comedy ... Along with the love affair, Hornby covers the issues of the day with snappy take-no-prisoners commentary ... On every page, racial tensions abound ... And, of course, because this is a Nick Hornby novel, there’s plenty of music ... Throughout, the plot twists and turns; the reader laughs and winces ... As these scenes build toward a surprising, well-earned ending, Hornby continues to ask: Should we choose someone just like us, or take a risk? ... My only quibble, among such pleasures, lies in certain passages of dialogue, however crackling, that are unattributed, forcing me to backtrack to figure out which lines belong to what speaker, a slight irritation that, on occasion, interrupted the flow. Nevertheless, even if, upon finishing, readers might still not want to kiss their butchers, they’ll be all too willing to plant a smooch on the author of this delicious, prime-cut, filet mignon of a novel.
RaveThe Boston GlobeTyler wastes neither sentence nor scene ... It’s no surprise that every quirky character, from the stars to the cameos, is a vintage Tyler portrait, fully drawn ... an ending both nuanced and satisfying. A master at the small domestic moments that stand in for large and universal truths, Tyler never disappoints. This is a wonderful novel.
RaveThe Boston GlobeAlong with his wry eye for irony and regret, [Russo] offers up a compelling mystery. Savvy readers who pride themselves on anticipating a plot twist, spotting a red herring, and identifying the who-did-it are in for a surprise ... a 21st century version of The Big Chill ... When the denouement comes, it’s a stunner. Nevertheless, all bombshells feel earned. If you’re on a hammock in the Vineyard or under a tent in Acadia, or slumped over the fire escape of your hot city apartment, chances are your chances are awfully good that you’ll lap up this gripping, wise, and wonderful summer treat.
PositiveThe Boston Globe\"Despite the compression of time and plot into an episodic, this-happens,-then-that-happens chronicle, and the challenge of tracking so many characters, Beattie’s particular and eccentric rhythm offers plenty of pleasure. Every sentence shines with wit, originality, and sharp observations ... Will every reader love this novel? Maybe not, but — hey — it’s Ann Beattie so cause enough for celebration.\
MixedThe Boston Globe\"These scenes of professional rivalry and seesawing imbalance are some of McLain’s best ... McLain does a good job on the accommodations a woman makes for a man, how the less famous writer obliges the famous one. Until they don’t ... Though much of this material is familiar from other memoirs and biographies, McLain does a good job of weaving factual details into a well-constructed narrative that is marred, unfortunately, by pedestrian passages. Clichés abound. Adverbs clutter the sentences, an over-embroidery which Hemingway would disdain. The sex scenes display an all-too-familiar earth-moving, gee-whiz quality. No matter. McLain’s legions of fans will relish the inspiration of a gutsy woman who discovers she doesn’t need a man at her side, after all.\
RaveThe Boston Globe...a dazzling historical novel with timely resonances for the Trumpian present ... This large cast and considerable expanse of time demand a complicated structure and expert juggling. The author is up to the job ... Their voices, some flowery and mature, others young and modern, are beautifully nuanced, the syntax appropriate to period, gender, class, and personality. The prose is uniformly gorgeous ... Treated to such a brilliant, ambitious mixture of actual history and creative invention, the determined reader, however daunted by the novel’s enormous scale, will turn the last page rewarded, delighted, and eager for Hughes-Hallett’s next.
RaveThe Boston GlobeAs their encounters multiply, the reader becomes impatient for the couple to acknowledge the inevitable. But, excruciatingly, Joyce keeps the suspense going; she strings out the romance/non-romance, piling on missed opportunities, misunderstandings, missed connections with Shakespearean brio ... In this instance, love, friendship, and especially the healing powers of music all rise together into a triumphant crescendo, which, like Frank’s gaze, makes the reader feel 'charged with a whoosh of light.' This lovely novel is as satisfying and enlightening as the music that suffuses its every page.
RaveThe Boston GlobeCan Levy's fourth novel be this good? It can. It is. Narrated by the quirky voices of four idiosyncratic characters — Queenie and her husband, Bernard, white and English; Hortense and her husband, Gilbert, black and Jamaican — the novel spans three continents and multiple conflicts both political and personal … Levy's vast, gripping canvas troubles and moves and horrifies and informs. To the surprise and delight of her readers, her story also makes us laugh. What she gives us is nothing less than messy, terrifying, wonderful life itself. Rarely have almost 450 pages spun by so fast.
RaveThe Boston GlobeJoanna Scott’s compelling and complex new novel is chockablock with history, feminism, social divisions, environmental blight, office politics, maternal bonding, urban displacement, women’s friendships, corruption, sexism, and murder ... At first, sorting out the seemingly haphazard story sections can be daunting; the lack of chronological order can confuse. But keep at it. There’s method in such apparent madness — an ingenious structure with a big payoff ... Moving though these increasingly gripping pages, the intersecting plots converge, resulting in conflagrations personal, political, industrial. The Twin Towers fall. The world changes. Yet its citizens still fail to grasp Lee Jaffe’s lesson: 'When we forget to ask questions, we make mistakes.' This eloquent novel manages, without being polemical, to reflect the sad way we live now and seems tragically apt in light of such dire ongoing events as climate-change denial, sexual harassment suits, and the Grenfell Tower fire.
RaveThe Boston GlobeFrom the first page, the story lives up to the packaging...[an] irresistible book ... Each encounter is its own funny and touching vignette. And each memory, too, mixes both public triumph and private sorrow ... This witty and heartfelt ode to a city, to its infinite variety, to its melting pot of citizens not only enchants but offers an important lesson: that human connections and work are what give life meaning.
RaveThe Boston GlobeAs each tale unfolds, Prose offers insights on New York, evolution, Chekhov, childhood, adolescence, old age, stage mothers, trophy wives, loneliness, disappointment, and love ... As Prose’s overwhelmed characters take turns documenting their hopes and shattered dreams, their scattered voices join in a shared effort that adds power and meaning to the plummeting production. In this strong, humane, and funny novel, Prose has treated us to an enthralling entertainment both on and off stage.
RaveThe Boston GlobeAs an example of point of view, you can look no farther than these gorgeous pages, which not only prove that brevity is the soul of wit but also offer the reader a voice both distinctive and engaging ... each [page is] rife with wordplay, social commentary, hilarity, and suspense ... hats off to Ian McEwan.