A phone call from a bad man from Olga's past brings to life a haunted childhood in an apartment building in the Soviet Union: an unexplained murder in her block, a supernatural stray dog, and the mystery of her beloved brother Moshe, who lost an eye and later vanished.
A phantasmagoria about immigration, death, and queer desire with a plot that defies easy description ... This is not a novel for those who want clearly defined borders between the real and imaginary. As the reader moves through the book, events become increasingly surreal, and what initially seem like hints about an organized crime underworld might refer to a more literal underworld ... Narrated in brief sections that propel the reader through its pages, the novel is short enough to read in a single sitting but demands multiple readings to piece together its elliptical narrative ... Though Olga’s perspective dominates the first and longest section of the book, in later parts the narrative baton is passed to seemingly peripheral characters, some of whom are alive, while others are not ... What holds this demanding work together is the strength of Moskovich’s barebones prose, which has a simplicity that belies its lyricism ... the most salient feature of her work is its originality ... a perplexing yet powerful work of literature that is likely to haunt the reader long after its last page.
A stabbing sets off a mysterious chain of events ... The effect of all these flashes and bursts of prose is rather like that of a pane of glass that has shattered onto the floor. Individually, the shards are slick and sharp, but taken together, it’s hard to know what to make of them ... Moskovich offers her readers little insight into either her characters or plot, and the result is frequently alienating.
A vivid story of a pair of estranged siblings who immigrated to Milwaukee from the Soviet Union as children in 1991 ... Moskovich doesn’t explain what’s happened to Olga or Moshe, and focuses instead on the various characters’ states of mind, including Oksana’s, captivating the reader with the sense of waking from a dream and trying to fit each hazy piece together. The dynamic style and psychological depth make this an engaging mind bender.