RaveThe New York Times Book Review[A] sweeping, masterly debut novel ... Jeffers has deftly crafted a tale of a family whose heritage includes free Blacks, enslaved peoples and Scottish and other white colonialists ... Jeffers is an award-winning poet, and she is never doing just one thing with her text ... Class and colorism are constant tensions in the novel, and Jeffers expertly renders a world of elite African Americans ... The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is quite simply the best book that I have read in a very, very long time. I will avoid the cliché of calling it \'a great American novel.\' Maybe the truest thing I could say is that this is an epic tale of adventure that brings to mind characters you never forget ... The sign of a great novel is that the author creates a world and when she moves her hands away, the world is still in motion. The idea being that, in the very best novels, every important detail is so lovingly attended to that the novelist’s intention is as invisible and powerful as gravity. The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois is such a world.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewThis is Forbes’s fifth work of fiction, and her narrative confidence is both subtle and commanding. A Tall History of Sugar is a gift for grown-up fans of fairy tales and for those who love fiction that metes out hard and surprising truths. Forbes’s writing combines the gale-force imagination of Margaret Atwood with the lyrical pointillism of Toni Morrison ... Forbes offers translations of the Creole, so I didn’t have to guess any meanings or skim past the patois. Each shift into local language was more than merely colorful; it was emotionally and intellectually significant. This is a book for savoring, and the dialect is a rich layer I look forward to revisiting. I can only imagine how textured the audio version would be. I would have loved listening to the lilt of Jamaican patois; so much of the text feels as if it was meant to be heard, not just read.