Told in a distant third-person through the introspective eyes of sixteen-year-old Livy Markos, Relief Map is an impressive story with difficult ideas, even if, at times, the ideas become neutered in their conveyance ... Livy may act like a teenager, with all of the hair-pulling entailed therein, but, by the end of Rosalie Knecht's absorbing and lively debut, it becomes apparent that sometimes the most pressing judgments of our time, the most dangerous, the most difficult, and the most morally dubious, are decisions only a teenager can truly make.
The novel maintains a languid yet subtly tense ambience. Everything is slightly off-kilter; although it’s vacation time, the title’s promise of relief is deferred ... Offbeat and atmospheric, this debut novel is probably too quiet to make a major splash, but has its gentle rewards.
This psychological debut taps into a range of viewpoints, from the delicacy of teenage romance to the madness of our global terrorist age. Knecht’s prose gracefully tackles these complex topics with the hushed suspense of a classic like the film Rear Window.