PositiveLibrary JournalFrom a lesser writer, this storytelling technique would be fraught with peril, but in her follow-up to Walking on the Ceiling Savas offers a novel as smooth and compact as an alabaster egg, its prose filled with thoughtful sentences and psychological insights. An engaging yet calming read, as soothing as a talk with a sympathetic therapist.
RaveLibrary JournalProse’s exuberant, lighthearted novel immerses the reader in 1950s ambience, yet it’s full of winks and nods to the current political climate. Simon, our overheated narrator, pulls us along as he stumbles into Cold War intrigue, and we’re never sure which way the plot will turn until literally the last sentence. What a delightful read!
PositiveLibrary JournalLeFavour is an award-winning cookbook writer, but don’t expect a foodie novel. Fans of Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman Is in Trouble or Ann Beattie’s short stories will enjoy this wry, sophisticated, and intelligent rendering of modern, privileged city life.
RaveLibrary JournalIt seems that when you mix 19th-century racists, feminists, misogynists, freaks, and a flim-flam man, the spectacle that results might bear resemblance to the contemporary United States ... Besides playing with historical figures and themes, Lock’s novels stretch the limits of literary conventions. Those unfamiliar with the series may expect more reality with their history, but once you accept that the novel is a wild ride, hang on for the fun. Highly recommended, especially for readers of the series.
RaveLibrary JournalIn Momplaisir\'s hands, Lucien\'s character is multidimensioned and his rendering almost sympathetic ... Dense with poetic imagery, this debut novel is propelled forward by rich detail that mercifully obfuscates some of its violence. A tour de force; Momplaisir is a writer to watch.
PositiveLibrary Journal..[a] charming tale ... With its Victorian setting, elaborate plot, and score of quirky characters, this work is delightfully Dickensian yet maintains a modern sensibility. Kingman...taps into an astounding breadth of knowledge, from stonemasonry and paleontology to Scottish history and politics, plus religion and metaphysics. Highly recommended.
Emily St. John Mandel
RaveLibrary JournalHighly recommended; with superb writing and an intricately connected plot that ticks along like clockwork, Mandel offers an unnerving critique of the twinned modern plagues of income inequality and cynical opportunism.
PositiveLibrary Journal... offers up fascinating details of her creative approach and the perils of running a master restaurant, yet for all the lavish description, there are intriguing absences. The narrator’s life story emerges only as reflected through the assistant, whose name we don’t learn. Even the cheffe is referred to only by her title—evidently, a French female chef is so remarkable that the word cheffe was only recently coined. Given the acolyte’s obsession with the cheffe and his palpable contempt for her daughter, the reader is intrigued by what he might be concealing ... Despite its holes, this is a finely constructed work with a surprising and satisfying ending, like a fine meal leading up to a delicious dessert.
Kiran Millwood Hargrave
MixedLibrary JournalThe latest from Hargrave...is slow paced and deliberate, as if dreading its own unhappy denouement. It’s strength lies in the richly researched details of primitive Norwegian village life, which illustrate how the women scrape a livelihood from the barren subarctic.
RaveLibrary JournalMengiste’s tale of Ethiopian women warriors is fascinating and tension-filled. Her prose style is to show rather than tell, with short, cinematic chapters dense with imagery and sensory detail. Descriptions of the fog of battle are exquisite and horrific, all the more remarkable for being told from a woman’s point of view. Highly recommended.
Maria Dahvana Headley
PositiveLibrary JournalAs with any mythically or allegorically driven novel, the plot becomes fantastical when grafted onto modern tropes. Nevertheless, Headley\'s heroic prose and vivid imagery offers thought-provoking correlations between ancient themes and recent historical events. Its emphasis on feminist power gives an old tale renewed significance.