PositiveiNewsDespite the narrower setting, however, The Wild Laughter is a deliberately epic tale ... The end is as shocking as it is inevitable. Hughes draws on inspirations from the story of Cain and Abel to John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, delivering a gut punch that both holds a mirror to Ireland’s recent past and warns of the dangers of being too in thrall to ancient history.
Kate Reed Petty
RaveiNews (UK)... impressive ... plays constantly with genre while weaving an addictive, perfectly balanced tale about a high school lacrosse party that ends in an accusation of sexual assault ... Petty is not interested in adding to the growing collection of #MeToo fiction, or at least not in any conventional way. Instead, she draws the reader in and then confounds them ... Is this a novel, then, about toxic masculinity and the way in which institutions protect their own? Yes, in part, but again Reed Petty is too savvy to leave it there. Instead, this is a story about consent, about the long-standing effects of trauma and how, and if, those who suffer a traumatic event can move on ... powerful and haunting.
RaveINews (UK)...necessary ... As the two stories merge, and the truth about what happened to Elise is slowly revealed, Burton has great fun skewering both the ersatz glamour of 80s Hollywood and our present world of carefully curated lives online ... Yet, while the central plot is moving and the story thoughtfully worked out, The Confession’s real power comes from Burton’s willingness to delve deep into the choices her heroines make and what those choices might ultimately mean ... Serious yet playful, and beautifully told, the result is an engaging and vital novel that, thankfully, puts women’s interior lives centre stage once more.