PositiveThe New York Times Book Review... delightful ... If frustrations arise from Maum’s whimsical approach...it also provides satisfactions in the gentle comedy of artists in the jungle ... It’s a testament to Maum’s writing that I found myself finishing the book with a sense of a young woman’s growth. In Lara, Maum has given a little-considered daughter a more hopeful future.
RaveThe AtlanticLike the astonishing title story of Munro's previous collection, The Love of a Good Woman, the title story of Hateship, Friendship contains more range, drama, and tonal echoes than most contemporary novels. It is, among other things, a love story, perhaps the hardest spell to cast in 2001 … It is as if Munro has set for herself the challenge of writing credible love stories for a culture that usually satisfies its romantic cravings at the movies and turns to fiction for the hard, ugly truth about marriage. At once wildly romantic and ruefully modern, she renders characters who are middle-class, middle-aged or older, and living in small Canadian towns, yet whose lives yield a drama worthy of Shakespeare's princes and kings.
MixedThe AtlanticGilead takes the form of Ames's journal entries, written for his child to read when he is grown. The narrative roams and circles, as diaries do, and is largely cerebral, with little forward imperative. In this sort of book all depends on the quality of the contemplation and the charm of the voice. Fortunately, Ames's is original and strong … The story here seems overlaid, a thin vein on top of the book, not even covering its full span. It is as if Robinson has lost the taste for plot … One hesitates to define Gilead exactly as a novel. It is a beautiful book of ideas.
RaveThe New RepublicIf the second volume undermines the marriage plot, the third upends the literary fairytale. The Brilliant Friend novels, as they are called in Italy, employ a retrospective first person, as Dickens did in David Copperfield, adding to the impression of autobiography … Greco’s experience of the literary life can be seen as a fictional manifesto on the miseries of publishing: the doubt, the shame, the humiliation, the insults from those one would have hoped to impress or even seduce.