RaveThe Evening Standard (UK)... there is nothing been-there-read-that about Nolan’s dazzling debut ... Dolan’s writing is precise, acerbic and enviably good, and her characters are perfectly drawn. Ava’s casual stream-of-consciousness often has a delicious sting in the tail ... Besides class and wealth, the legacy of Ireland’s medieval restriction on abortion looms large (the book is set before it removed the constitutional ban on abortion in 2018). The novel is also interested in language and shifting meanings ... A sharp, assured debut[.]
Emily St. John Mandel
RaveEvening Standard (UK)The Glass Hotel is full of ghosts ... a dreaminess...softens its complicated, elegant plot ... evocative and assured; both delicate and disturbing ... The themes may be high octane, but it is the characters—and the vignettes, asides, anxieties and the very specific identities of their ghosts—which really drive the novel. Mandel writes beautifully, saying so much with such economy, and she makes a complicated plot involving so many faces and places feel effortless. For a story so interested in morality, it never moralises: the crimes of its characters are not politicised nor used for some higher purpose, but presented as experiments in human action. Many of its threads are left untied, but somehow this is never unsatisfying: instead, the fates of those characters become benign ghosts of your own, ensuring Mandel’s extraordinary novel haunts long after you’ve finished it.
Veronica Raimo Trans. by Stash Luczkiw
MixedThe Evening Standard (UK)Vanity Fair Italy calls The Girl at the Door \'the first post-Weinstein novel\', and therefore conjures with a stroke certain potent narratives about power and coercion, gender, objectification and sexual violence. The novel, which is about a rape accusation in a utopian community, certainly explores all of the above, although with a conceptual complexity that rather drains the life out of the story ... This investigation commandeers the story, dwarfing the more interesting, human narratives ... unfortunately, Raimo concentrates too much on the world of Miden: a smug, bloodless place governed by rules, rankings and ideals that veers close to parody ... The translation from Italian doesn’t always cope well with the novel’s abstractness, either. Some sentences are not so much stumbling blocks as brick walls ... The Girl at the Door explores power, but it ultimately lacks potency.