RaveOpen Letters Review...[an] excellent debut ... Bolstered by the scandal of rebellion and roguery themselves, Gilded Youth is woven through with a sure knack for storytelling and eye for vivifying detail ... Gilded Youth is our author’s own thorough, thoughtful, and articulate rebellion. Brooke-Smith acknowledges that he has \'chosen to be more one-sided\' in his writing and indeed his dislike of public schools, one of which he attended for a time, is evident. But for all his bias, dedicated research abounds. His prose flows with material from novels, government reports, memoirs, and more, and 33 pages of partial bibliography tail the volume. Whatever his convictions, the breadth of his knowledge and the earnestness with which he approaches his subject make Gilded Youth a fantastic read that cannot be dismissed.
MixedOpen LetterWithin the first pages of Nicola Griffith’s seventh novel, So Lucky, it becomes clear that the events therein are anything but lucky. Mara Tagarelli is left by her wife of fourteen years, suffers a serious fall which leads to a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, and is fired from her job ... MS leads not only to the loss of physical integrity – whether in the form of numbness, weakness, pain, loss of balance, or blindness – but also, potentially, the loss of mental integrity. There is no cure, and little treatment. And this is only the beginning of Mara’s troubles ... Griffith is not a prose stylist, but the writing is always clear and direct ... However, ultimately, the reader will be left to question how the narrative might have been focused and finessed out, and how these subjects – violence, paranoia, loss, anger, and eventual transformation – thrilling with thematic potential, could have been better served.