RaveShelf AwarenessA slender yet potent family drama ... Maroo\'s debut is a poignant illustration of the power of sports to help a family deal with grief--and each other--as they gradually make their way out of the darkness ... Maroo... is a marvelous and restrained storyteller and draws readers into Gopi\'s world with flashbacks from happier times and powerful undertones of a broken family slowly trying to heal ... The hypnotic gloom of Western Lane is undercut with subtle humor and an innocence that radiates from Gopi as she tries with heartbreaking sincerity to embrace the future her father has chosen for her.
RaveShelf AwarenessTouchingly warm and intimate narrative ... Chaudry is an uplifting storyteller and her humor-laden anecdotes balance the underlying gravity of her story with grace and skill ... Readers of Chaudry\'s memoir are in for a treat.
Graeme MacRae Burnet
RaveShelf AwarenessA psychological drama blurring the lines between fiction and reality ... A cleverly crafted investigation of sanity and identity, set against the backdrop of social upheaval in London ... Contains multiple metafictional twists, creating an illusion of historical reality where fictional characters interact with real people ... While Braithwaite\'s biography is a fascinating character study of a brilliant mind flirting with disaster and debauchery, it is the young woman\'s notebooks that will mesmerize readers. Here is a sexually repressed, prudish and antisocial person raised in a sheltered North London environment, yet her notebooks reveal a curious and rich imagination, wry humor and a desperate desire for human touch and validation ... Burnet\'s deployment of multiple narrative structures, his finely tuned depiction of Braithwaite, and the fascinating revelations of the diarist result in an unforgettable story, one that will rattle readers long after its startling, disorientating ending.
PositiveShelf Awareness... celebrates the ancient, spiritual wisdom of the inner voice and guides readers towards harnessing and embracing their intuitive intelligence. Showcasing the 15 varied stories by women across the professional spectrum, including actress and director Amy Poehler, lawmaker Ayanna Pressley and political strategist Huma Abedin, the book\'s impressive assemblage of writers delivers a reassuring message: intuition, that deep sensory awareness or gut feeling, is a gift accessible to everyone ... Tamblyn\'s inspirational road map for accessing one\'s intuition includes tools for pushing past old fears and letting go of unrealistic expectations toward a restorative sense of inner calm.
PositiveShelf Awareness... captivating ... Burton\'s narrative talents shine at full brilliance in The House of Fortune, offering a heady, hypnotic immersion into Thea\'s world that readers will be reluctant to leave.
Erika L. Sánchez
RaveShelf AwarenessSearingly candid ... With animated, often hilarious, vignettes from a multicultural youth spent yearning for the solitude necessary for writing, Crying in the Bathroom finds the author immensely grateful for the good fortune of the present, for a splendid study of her own and the sacrifices her hardworking parents made so their daughter could pursue her literary dreams and lead a life of the mind.
Alice Elliott Dark
RaveShelf AwarenessA grand literary novel destined to dazzle readers with an intriguing combination of social drama, satiric wit and moral gravity ... intricately crafted ... In the delightful tradition of writers such as Edith Wharton and E.M. Forster, Fellowship Point revels in overlapping subplots and a cast of superbly drawn, memorable characters wrestling with delicate questions of the heart as well as social issues of property rights and class divisions ... Heidi\'s story develops in a tantalizing fashion as unexpected truths emerge, and Dark expertly unveils a series of spectacular plot twists ... triumphantly introduces an uplifting tableau of older female literary role models, a vibrant and agelessly elegant duo with rich histories to share. As the Point\'s future is settled, it is clear that Dark\'s octogenarian heroines will have a significant and lasting impact on the lives of all who come after them.
RaveShelf AwarenessThe fates of two Sacramento families collide most spectacularly ... [an] ingenious plot ... Almond paints a satirically astute portrait of Reagan\'s America ... With cleverly overlapping subplots and a memorable cast of characters that includes a polygamous cult leader living on a Mexican ranch, Almond\'s meticulously researched novel is a triumph of storytelling powered by a central theme: the perilous disconnect between those who control or abuse systems of power and the individuals who are at the losing end of the power dynamic. A sensitive storyteller admired for his rich, diverse literary work and his quirky brilliance, Almond, a former co-host of the Dear Sugars podcast, skillfully embellishes his realist drama with notions of the magical and celestial, the mysteries of the desert and the fascinating biology of the creatures that call it home.
PositiveShelf AwarenessBold ... Intriguing ... Harkin masterfully probes her characters, questioning whether deleted memories translate into altered narratives that fundamentally transform who a person is and their relationships with loved ones ... Dense and thrilling.
Nina De Gramont
RaveShelf AwarenessAn ingeniously plotted historical mystery in the style of an engrossing Agatha Christie thriller ... Bringing to glorious life the more intimate roles Christie played, including as a mother, wife, loyal friend and passionate lover, de Gramont\'s graceful novel will enthrall Agatha fans of all persuasions ... De Gramont offers a skillful reimagining of what transpired when Agatha vanished in the dead of night with her typewriter, setting off a media-driven scandal and a massive country-wide police manhunt. The result is a particularly gripping story, brilliantly embellished by the enigmatic narrator, Nan O\'Dea, who also happens to be Archie\'s mistress ... An accomplished author, de Gramont takes a page from the great mystery writer herself and makes swift work of tying up loose ends as the story reaches its boiling point, leaving readers marvelously entertained and breathlessly connecting the dots ... This gorgeously written mystery reimagines Agatha Christie\'s real-life disappearance after the collapse of her marriage and the intriguing story of the woman responsible for the breakup.
RaveShelf AwarenessFans of Evaristo\'s work will discover in Manifesto the passionate core of this unstoppable force in 21st-century literature ... The author\'s soulful exploration of her early years, accompanied often by hilarious observations, reveal a courageous young woman who compromised nothing in pursuit of her artistic endeavors, including drama and theater ... Evaristo\'s personal manifesto, summarized at the end of this remarkable book, is ripe with inspiration for those who come after her, her advice timeless and applicable to readers at every stage of their artistic endeavors.
RaveShelf Awareness... gorgeous, entertaining ... celebrates the remarkable success of the venture while sharing with humble honesty and wry humor the personal and professional challenges it created for the author ... Wassef\'s debut brims with wistfully elegant musings on the consolation and inspiration offered by literature, and the power struggles of parenting two young daughters while serving at the helm of Diwan\'s expanding empire. She places Diwan\'s inauguration and evolution in the colorful context of Egypt\'s fluctuating social and political climate, the expansion of the bookstore and the variety of its offerings mirroring the shifting tastes of Cairo\'s reading public ... From a visionary who is passionate about the written word, Wassef\'s memoir is both an intimate reckoning with motherhood, marriage and feminism and a thoughtful meditation on Egyptian literary culture and history.
RaveShelf Awareness... impressive ... the author turns his own phenomenally successful American story inside out, eloquently exposing fault lines that persist for those viewed as outsiders in their country of birth ... profoundly intimate vignettes ... Akhtar dissects themes of Muslim self-identity with incredible precision. Longlisted for the ALA\'s Andrew Carnegie Medal, Homeland Elegies will appeal to readers secure in their sense of belonging as well as those who, like Ayad, wrestle with feelings of otherness.
RaveShelf AwarenessMajumdar\'s impressive debut features intricately layered subplots expanding on themes of class, religious tension and discrimination toward India\'s transgender community ... moves at a suspenseful pace with the same powerful drive toward a conclusion as Kamila Shamsie\'s Homefire. Majumdar is a phenomenal new voice posing a daring question: Can Indian society as it exists today ever be impartial?
PositiveShelf AwarenessSesay helpfully examines the confluence of social factors that gave rise to the extremist group, including the struggles between Muslims in the north and Christians in southern Nigeria that are a legacy of British colonial rule. Her tenacious reporting since the Chibok abductions has helped keep up pressure on the government of Nigeria to find the missing girls ... Readers will be moved and inspired by her passionate advocacy.
PositiveShelf Awareness... [a] smart, engaging comedy of errors crossed with a charming late-stage coming-of age story ... Accompanying Chandra as he sets about untangling the knots in his personal life is both uplifting and entertaining. The language of spiritual healing comes naturally to Balasubramanyam, and he deploys it to great effect in this superbly relevant story for our times ... Balasubramanyam weaves weighty topics such as familial estrangement and teenage drug use into his tender, enchanting novel with a nimble but substantial touch. The end result is strong on optimism with a vital message for mankind: one must be willing to change and look inward if one wants to improve personal relationships and help those we love.
RaveShelf AwarenessMeticulously researched and vividly recounted ... [Rutkow\' combines a historian\'s eye for detail with a storyteller\'s skill at bringing to life the dynamic political and social forces that conceived and constructed the international corridor ... a worthy, thought-provoking read for anyone interested in learning about a time when the \'Colossus of the North\' opened its doors in friendship and unity to the rest of the Americas.
PositiveShelf AwarenessNothing Is Lost is a rich sampling of essays ... The essays say as much about the eminently discreet and down-to-earth Sischy as they do about her subjects ... Sischy\'s socially conscious, insightful essays are time capsules capturing and preserving significant cultural moments for future generations to savor and enjoy.
PositiveShelf AwarenessFull-bodied ... The unusual narrative format of The Last Romantics is similar to that of Atonement, Ian McEwan\'s masterpiece, and is equally successful as deployed here ... Conklin has proven once again that she is an expert storyteller. The Last Romantics contains all the essential elements of a compelling Greek tragedy, one that also provides a mercifully cathartic release for its emotionally spent main characters and, ultimately, for the reader ... The skillful three-dimensional rendering of Joe and his sisters welcomes the reader into the inner sanctum of their preoccupations and rivalries. Intensely moving, The Last Romantics is a thoughtful family drama with exceptional characters at its heart.