... spellbinding ... Dennis excels at delving into the psyche of these women, exploring their traumas and constructing wholly engrossing worlds ... Through Ella and Elena’s efforts to reconstruct a sense of self — outside family, beyond academia and expectation — through language, Dennis confronts the various ways we try to understand ourselves and others.
In Amanda Dennis’s melancholy literary novel Her Here , a wounded graduate student translates the story of a fellow wanderer ... Wrenching and revelatory, Her Here is a novel about the barbs and possibilities that follow from the unexpected loss of what’s familiar.
Dennis attempts a Modianoesque detective story in her lukewarm debut ... The premise is part of the book’s problem; Siobhan’s request is so improbable that it’s difficult to take seriously ... Elena, as she obsessively reads and writes, becomes preoccupied with the journals and Ella’s life, and with her own grief for her dead mother, who struggled with mental illness. Descriptions of Paris and of Chiang Rai are sharp and lovely, and many of the questions the plot raises pique, though the dialogue feels stilted. This never fully comes to life.