PositiveThe Straits Times (SING)\"... there is a certain voyeuristic aspect to the narrative, which for the most part follows the characters around like a film camera, reporting the minute details of their movements and interactions while granting no access to their inner thoughts. What the reader does glean is through their phone calls and messages, the checking of social media and—most revelatory of all—the online correspondence between Alice and Eileen ... an illuminating epistolary depiction of friendship. This is a novel of profound interiority, all the more remarkable for being crafted mostly out of detached exteriority. In the rare instance when it enters a character\'s mind, the effect is marvellous.
PositiveThe Straits Times (SING)With Summer... she goes out in a blaze of glory ... Smith packs so much into Summer that it is a marvel it gets off the ground, but it does. She weaves together the crises of the world—not just the urgent, like the pandemic, but also the older, deeper crises of xenophobia, migration and climate change. She shows them to be an interlocked collage, and does so with wit and warmth ... Her quartet has been that rare thing: a work of art that has kept pace with the times that forged it. I had thought it would end in the heat of apocalypse, but instead I am reminded of how much light there is in the world.