PositiveLibrary JournalThrough the eyes of these and many more compelling characters, Sacks creates a snapshot of lives shattered by decades of conflict ... This ambitious, forceful debut novel, likely informed by Sacks’s years studying in Tel Aviv, personalizes with startling clarity the seemingly unsolvable conundrum that is the Middle East. This is a thinking reader’s book.
RaveLibrary JournalSometimes with tongue in cheek but more frequently with deadly seriousness, Baxter plumbs the depths of Alma and Harry\'s 40-year marriage while tackling global issues ... Fans may be surprised at the dark tenor of his latest novel, but Baxter...masterfully captures the zeitgeist of our country as we navigate multiple crises, some he could never have predicted. This is truly a compelling book for our times.
RaveLibrary Journal... extraordinary ... Róisín is masterly in her visceral representation of Taylia’s despair and rage, her depression and self-loathing, and her inability to be open to even small acts of kindness. Yet as weeks of her wandering in the city unfold, readers sense Taylia’s innate strength, a survival instinct at her core that enables her to find work in a bakery and a friend in Kat, its owner ... In lustrous, lyrical language, multifaceted artist Róisín has written an ode to the joy and healing power of self-love. This powerful novel is highly recommended.
RaveLibrary JournalThis achingly intimate novel-cum-memoir from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Akhtar...searingly explores the existential questions consuming immigrants in the United States ... But the beating heart of this novel is his complex relationship with his father and with his homeland ... The personal is political in this beautiful, intense elegy for an America that often goes awry while still offering hope.
RaveLibrary JournalThough it’s a departure from her gorgeous historical debut...Gyasi’s contemporary novel of a woman’s struggle for connection in a place where science and faith are at odds is a piercingly beautiful tale of love and forgiveness.
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
RaveLibrary JournalMakumbi is a mesmerizing storyteller, slowly pulling readers in with a captivating cast of multifaceted characters and a soupçon of magical realism guaranteed to appeal to fans of Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing.
RaveLibrary Journal... haunting ... Through vivid flashbacks, friends and family paint a picture of a sensitive child prone to bouts of depression and angry outbursts ... Vivek’s complicated relationship with his male cousin Osita rests at the heart of this searing examination of gender dissonance, sexual attraction, familial love, and loyalty ... this achingly beautiful probe into the challenges of living fully as a nonbinary human being, is an illuminating read.
RaveLibrary JournalBeah portrays his characters with exquisite tenderness, imbuing them with a grace that belies their wretched situation, while he hints at their pasts through quickly tamped-down memories or nightmares gently dispelled by Khoudie’s soothing hands ... Beah continues to speak eloquently to the impact of colonialism on generations of African children for whom freedom is merely an illusion.
RaveLibrary JournalErdrich’s fiction has always been informed by her Anishinaabe roots, but this novel is truly personal ... In Erdrich’s hands, daily life on the reservation comes alive, the crushing poverty and lack of opportunity tempered by family cohesion and the wisdom of the elders. She acknowledges the scourge of alcoholism and exposes traffickers who prey on naive girls drawn to the cities ... Erdrich once again calls upon her considerable storytelling skills to elucidate the struggles of generations of Native people to retain their cultural identity and their connection to the land.
PositiveLibrary JournalOkri employs simple sentences and brief chapters to invoke an alarming and complex parable of a world on the edge, where up is down and down is up. But readers shouldn’t fool themselves into believing that this is another dystopian tale of the future; it feels all too current. Like the prisoners in Plato’s cave, we have complacently accepted its bland existence, unable to remember that there was once, and could be again, another reality where words deliver freedom rather than condemnation ... Like George Orwell and Margaret Atwood before him, the Booker Prize–winning Okri writes a passionate cri de coeur, a clarion call to activists everywhere to resist apathy and recognize that we are all on this beautiful globe together and that it is ours to lose.
RaveLibrary Journal... incandescent ... In sensuous prose, Aciman creates honest relationships unfettered by age, gender, or time, perfectly capturing that initial hesitancy one experiences when embarking upon an intimate liaison. The joy and mystery of music, so wondrously described that you can hear it, features prominently ... Aciman gifts readers with a beautiful 21st-century romance that reflects on the remembrance of things past and the courage to embrace the future. Highly recommended.
PositiveLibrary JournalIn his difficult and disturbing new novel, Nganang exposes the evils of colonialism and the ramifications of violence for his native country, which suffered under the thumbs of three European powers ... serious subject matter tempered with bursts of droll humor ... Nganang is a political force whose experiences in Cameroon inform every page of this novel. Some will find it long on screed and short on plot. But for those who appreciate how fiction illuminates history, this book will be an eye-opener.
Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
RaveLibrary JournalLyrical, luminous language evokes the beauty of Pate Island, the poetic muezzin\'s call, even the scent of rosewater that wafts from each page ... Caine Prize winner Owuor follows up her powerful debut, Dust, with a gentler but no less stunning novel of language, lineage, love, and family, those we\'re born into and those that we create.
RaveLibrary JournalEvery now and then, a writer grabs you in the first paragraph and doesn\'t let go. Such is the case with Taneja, whose stunning debut brims with familial jealousy, sexual tension, political turmoil, and shocking violence ... Taneja writes with a passion and verve that reflects her human rights reporter and filmmaker background. Highly recommended for socially conscious readers