RaveManhattan Book Review... a stunning tapestry of interconnected stories that explore corruption, alternate lives, haunting pasts, and consequences. The way Mandel gets inside the heads of her characters and puts their thoughts on the page is masterful. Mysterious, philosophical, and intricate, The Glass Hotel is literary fiction at its finest.
PositiveThe Manhattan Book ReviewDespite its slow-moving plot and annoyingly pretentious and desperate protagonist, Apartment manages to provide a nuanced look at masculinity, sexuality, and class. Wayne’s strength lies in his characters, which he writes with impeccable clarity; the narrator’s thoughts and actions are consistently believable, and the tension between characters is always painfully palpable. Though not a pleasant read, Apartment still has a lot to offer its readers.
PositiveThe Manhattan Book Review... exposes the struggles of undocumented immigrants while also spinning an irresistible mystery. The emotional wrestling Danny does in the pages of this book is expertly conveyed, and readers will feel just as conflicted and will understand the fears that haunt many undocumented immigrants around the world today. Danny’s inner thoughts are tediously repetitious at times, which may turn some readers away, but ultimately this adds to the unbearable nature of the moral dilemma. Exquisitely written with incredible insight and compassion, Amnesty is a relevant novel that shouldn’t be overlooked.
PositiveThe Seattle Book ReviewLaymon invites readers into his complicated relationship with his mother by addressing his deeply personal memoir to her directly; unfortunately, his mother remains a kind of shallow enigma through the entire book. However, his straightforward voice is rich with vivid detail that reads like poetry, and his ability to articulate his difficult experiences is unparalleled ... Intimate, bold, and reflective, Heavy is an uncomfortable, but necessary read.
RaveManhattan Book Review\"Deservedly shortlisted for the National Book Award, Heartland is a beautifully rendered memoir about growing up on a poor farm in Kansas ... While some readers may find that Smarsh’s addressing her unborn child is a kind of annoying gimmick, these thoughtfully written passages are honest, sobering reminders of what could have been and are deeply moving. Though not overtly political, Smarsh offers many insights into how America has done a disservice to the destitute and asserts that the poor are not responsible for their distress. Smarsh’s engaging, authentic voice makes Heartland a standout.\