RaveLone Star Literary LifeIn this comedy of manners, White immediately subsumes the reader in time and place, his distinctive voice claiming us from the first page, leaving me chuckling, shaking my head in admiration ... While White’s novel is a comedy of manners—the multiple, ongoing culture clashes are laugh-aloud funny—it is also a deep dive into character. The twins are complete in their rendering on the page, and their development is simultaneously a joy and a calamity ... Yvonne’s often bawdy voice belies a lifelong battle between the superficial and creeping self-awareness, which White balances exquisitely; while Yvette’s crucible and abnegation are rooted in tragedy, a guilt not her own ... Despite the page count, A Saint from Texas is not a quick read, due to extensive blocks of exposition, but it flows evenly and almost flawlessly as Yvonne’s effort to set the record straight and obtain a form of justice for Yvette. I have a quibble involving Texas geography. Ranger is not in East Texas. This would be a small thing, but it arises throughout, Yvonne’s accent repeatedly referred to as an \'East Texas twang.\' Her accent is a Texas accent, a twangy accent, but it is not an East Texas accent—there, I feel better now.
Young Moon Jung
PositiveLone Star Literary LifeIn his trademark stream-of-consciousness style, Moon admirably grapples with himself and the peculiarities and paradoxes of twenty-first-century Texas, while questioning what has meaning and what doesn’t, who gets to decide, and the nature of the novel as a literary form ... The melancholy is such that I was startled when Moon visits a farm and notes \'a very cute donkey\' ... Moon crafts page-long sentences that do not meander; his musing is focused—hats off to translator Yewon Jung. Moon also exhibits a joy in words ... His repetition of certain words lends a meter to his prose, as if he might be a poet ... Moon has a droll, dry wit that reminds me of Steven Wright and had me chuckling aloud.
RaveLone Star Literary LifeRule of Capture is the first in a planned series of legal thrillers, and if this first installment is any indication, I will buy the others the day they appear on shelves, mute my phone, and cancel all appointments for the next couple of days. Rule of Capture is part 1984, part Brave New World, part ripped from the Mueller report, though it transcends the current occupant of the White House. Brown has taken all the dissonant noise and distilled it, then extrapolated to a possible logical endpoint ... Rule of Capture is also very funny ... Brown’s use of language is clever and smart, while instances of purple prose and pedantic speeches, which would be so easy to do given the material, are few ... Brown grabs us with the first sentence ... And he never lets go, intricately plotting and carefully crafting a just-one-more-chapter page-turner about a future that is all too plausible
RaveLone Star ReviewKibler’s new book is mostly historical fiction, so it seems odd to call it \'timely,\' but it is. Artfully woven of the ills currently roiling our country, resonating in the era of #MeToo and Jeffrey Epstein and the list is too long to name them all, the issues of Home for Erring and Outcast Girls are age-old. Powerful men protect other powerful men, often with the collusion of wives, and countless women and girls are collateral damage ... Kibler’s research is impeccable ... The pace is quick and steady; action moves fluidly back and forth between the present and the early twentieth century. Kibler is skilled at foreshadowing and organically solving the mysteries, only marred by melodrama in a fleeting few instances. She writes gripping, heart-pounding scenes, then lulls you into a tender scene, which will tug your heartstrings out and tie them into knots. The experience is painful but rewarding ... One of the many joys is the depth of these characters, richly drawn and quite fully human ... deserves to be addressed as an accessible and profound work on the ill treatment of women and girls in this society.
RaveLone Star Literary LifeKing of the Mississippi...heralds a maturation of Freedman’s talent ... a biting send-up of corporate America, traditional ideas of masculinity, and flag-on-your-lapel patriotism. Freedman’s two main characters are sharply drawn, though they begin as caricatures ... The narrative...is generally fast paced. The middle third lags, though it does include a hilarious set-piece ... The final third...recovers from the second and surpasses the first, getting the epilogue just right ... King of the Mississippi is a novel for our time.
RaveLone Star Literary LifeWe’ve waited ten years for the next book from Cásares, and Where We Come From is a worthy and timely progression ... Where We Come From is not a dramatic story in the way of action scenes, thrills and chills, or edge-of-your-seat suspense. Instead this quiet, nuanced drama reflects everyday occurrences in the liminal spaces between the Rio Grande and the inland Border Patrol checkpoints ... Cásares’s characters are finely wrought, the adults sharp and distinct, the boys a little fuzzy around the edges, not done developing ... I was steadily drawn into Where We Come From by Cásares’s skillful reeling of the line.
Novuyo Rosa Tshuma
RaveLone Star ReviewA work of remarkable imagination, House of Stone is quickly and evenly paced until it begins coursing toward the denouement, flinging jaw-dropping twists amidst the factional, fractional, bloody birth of Zimbabwe, with mordant wit and keen characterization ... The cadences of Tshuma’s prose are most assertive when she’s toing and froing in time, often from one paragraph to the next, the singsong give-and-take ... Tshuma presents us with a history lesson in the form of these individual lives, demonstrating the folly of denying that the personal is political.