MixedThe GuardianClearly this is a novel of lost chances, of lost lives, of sadness and regret. It is told with subtlety, makes beautiful links to the landscape and nature, and is occasionally rather fascinating, in a voyeuristic kind of way, on the weird world of twins. The break between the two happened not at Henk's death, but earlier, when Henk met Riet, and the twin finds their coupling unconscionable. But these men are so silent in the assessment of their own lives, and this is such a sad and bleak story, that no matter how delicate the touch and how subtle the undercurrents, it makes for a sad, bleak read.
RaveThe GuardianTo read this book is to stumble on a completely private world. Every family unit has its own language of codes and in-jokes, and Donoghue captures this exquisitely. Ma has created characters out of all aspects of their room – Wardrobe, Rug, Plant, Meltedy Spoon … In the hands of this audacious novelist, Jack's tale is more than a victim-and-survivor story: it works as a study of child development, shows the power of language and storytelling, and is a kind of sustained poem in praise of motherhood and parental love.