Making a list of what’s quirky about this debut novel from Arnett...is too tempting to resist, but these quirks also serve as the novel’s starting points. Arnett’s writing cuts through all the unusualness and renders Jessa human and relatable ... The squeamish may struggle to read about Jessa’s life, but readers who persevere will be both compelled and rewarded.
...[a dark and original debut] ... Set in a richly rendered Florida and filled with delightfully wry prose and bracing honesty, Arnett’s novel introduces a keenly skillful author with imagination and insight to spare.
Arnett writes in clear, perceptive prose...yet the pacing and climax of this deeply psychological novel remain off-kilter. Jessa is stuck playing the eternal, repressed 'straight' man to her creator's wry sense of humor—with mixed results. For all of Arnett's insights, the outsize mother-daughter conflict at the heart of the book feels as if a bear skin were draped over the skeleton of a much smaller mammal. Still, there's much to admire in Arnett's vision of Florida as a creative swamp of well-meaning misfits and in the sweet hopefulness of finding your way back to yourself through family.